Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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Jones Debates Merits of Proposed 3C Rail at Columbus Metropolitan Club


State Senator Shannon Jones (right) discusses the proposed 3C rail system at a forum at the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

COLUMBUS— State Senator Shannon Jones (R- Springboro) recently appeared at the Columbus Metropolitan Club as part of a discussion about the pros and cons of the proposed 3C rail line connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. Also appearing at the event were Jim Seney, former Director of the Ohio Rail Development Commission; Gene Krebs of Greater Ohio and political consultant Terry Casey.

“The proposal as it currently stands raises serious questions about the final cost and how we will pay for a rail system that will require $17 million a year in taxpayer subsidies while attracting only 1,300 riders a day,” Jones said. “Given the state’s current budget situation, I believe it is essential that lawmakers and the public have accurate information detailing the true cost of the project in order to determine if now is the right time to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the 3C rail.”

During the discussion, Jones reiterated her concerns about the cost of the 3C rail and how its ongoing operations would be paid for, especially given the financial challenges facing Ohio. She noted that a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. found that a study of 250 rail projects across the globe revealed that the total costs were underestimated by an average of 45 percent. Another study found ridership forecasts were overestimated in 90 percent of the projects reviewed.

The debate will be rebroadcast on the Ohio Channel on Monday, March 29 at 11 a.m. Video of the event will also be posted to the Ohio Channel’s archives in the coming days. It can be found by visiting www.theohiochannel.com and clicking on “Columbus Metropolitan Club” under the “Programming” tab.

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