Despite the idiotic decision by new Governor John Kasich to reject $400 million of federal money for a high-speed rail project that would have connected Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, a new proposal that’s part of President Obama’s new high-speed rail initiative just might work in Ohio.
Ohio may yet get on track with President Obama’s newly announced $53 billion initiative to build a nationwide high speed rail network.
A bipartisan group of northern Ohio Congress members met Thursday with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to discuss building a high speed rail line along Lake Erie that would link Cleveland with Chicago, Detroit, Toledo and Buffalo, and also include routes to Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Building a line along the lake is a top tier part of Obama’s rail program.
Bainbridge Township GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette said he plans to work with Republicans and Democrats from Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan “to see if there’s a way we can help restore some of what the President’s vision is on high speed rail in our part of the world.”
Though newly elected Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich rejected $400 million in federal funds to build a different train line between Cleveland and Cincinnati, LaTourette believes Kasich might be more receptive to the lakeshore route. He said it also might be possible to secure funds for the project so “the state of Ohio would not have to be the political subdivision that gets the money and does the work.”
Kasich indicated he would be willing to consider it if Steve LaTourette was behind it.
And that’s really the key here, and this will have a huge impact in Congress as well. Even Republicans like LaTourette support this, so you might just see a bi-partisan effort to support the President on this one.