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Public Transit Advocates Want More Funding For Buses And Rail

A COTA bus in downtown Columbus in May 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock
A COTA bus in downtown Columbus in May 2020.

Advocates for public transportation are lambasting Ohio's transportation budget that passed the House earlier this month. They say too little is being spent on rail and buses.

Amanda Woodrum with Policy Matters Ohio says the $8 billion transportation budget contains only $70 million for public transit. And that was only after House lawmakers restored it from Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget, which slashed the funding by 90%.

“But this still isn’t even where we were in the last budget, and it certainly isn’t where we need to be," Woodrum says.

Woodrum and other public transportation advocates say many working Ohioans depend on public transportation to meet basic needs and the pandemic has made it more critical.

The transportation budget must be passed by March 3 but last time around in 2019, it was passed days after the deadline.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.