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Hydrogen fuel cell bus makes maiden voyage on campus

A bright blue bus is making its way around the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University. The bus is more than a way for students to get around campus; it’s a research platform that could lead to a cleaner campus of the future. Friday was the first trip around campus for a new hydrogen fuel cell bus. It’s part of the Campus Area Bus System fleet and is on loan from the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority for one year. Ohio State President Michael V. Drake was one of the first passengers on the bus. He joined students, campus researchers and members of SARTA on the trip. “It’s great technology to have for buses and vehicles moving all around our cites,” Drake said. “If we can do it witho

Trump Administration’s ‘Skinny Budget’ Cuts Infrastructure Investment

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is surprised and disappointed that at the same time the Trump Administration is proposing to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure, the White House is recommending cutting billions of dollars from existing transportation/and public transit infrastructure programs in its proposed “Skinny Budget,” for Fiscal Year 2018. The federal government currently covers only 43 percent of all capital spending for public transit and any cuts will only add to the significant shortfall that already exists. The American economy and communities of all sizes would be losers if the proposed reductions in the FTA Capital Investment Grants (CIG), the TIGER progr

What Trump's proposed transportation budget means for Ohio

"It really potentially cuts future transit expansions in the country in general. It's not just Ohio; in the whole country, public transit is at risk," Conrad said. "In Ohio, without the federal support, I do not see those expansions." President Donald Trump's preliminary budget slashes U.S. Department of Transportation funding 13 percent, or $2.4 billion. Trump calls for cuts to funding for transit, long-distance Amtrak train routes and the TIGER grant program, and moves air traffic control outside of the government, among other things. Trump's preliminary budget still has to be approved by Congress, who could make a number of changes to his proposals. Transit funding Transit takes a hit in

OPTA President Kirt Conrad testifies in favor of increased transit spending

Chairman, members of the committee – my name is Kirt Conrad. I am President of the Ohio Public Transit Association and CEO of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority in Canton. I have worked in public transportation in Ohio for over 20 years. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today in support of the state’s proposed transportation budget. OPTA represents transit systems in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Ohioans make 115 million trips by transit every year. We project that number will increase to 250 million by 2025. The majority of these trips are taking people to work. School and medical services are the next most frequented locations. As an association, we are glad the administration

Trump should invest $200 billion in transit, association says

If President Donald Trump were to direct 20 percent of the $1 trillion he pledged to invest in the nation's infrastructure to public transit, it would have a big impact on transit agencies across the country, American Public Transportation Association members say. The details of Trump's infrastructure plan have yet to be released, and transit agencies want to make sure transit is accounted for when they are. "This additional investment is the key to addressing the nation's aging public transportation infrastructure," APTA Acting President and CEO Richard White said during a press conference Monday. Transit in the U.S. needs $90 billion to bring systems to a state of good repair, according to

Building owners might subsidize free bus passes for 40,000 Downtown workers

More than 40,000 Downtown workers could receive free bus service under a plan to free up thousands of parking spaces and increase the renting of office space. Half of the $5 million cost to provide the passes for more than 2½ years would come from 550 owners of properties in the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, who would pay 3 cents per square foot of space per year, said Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of the district. Capital Crossroads would seek grants from foundations and others to pay the rest of the cost. Capital Crossroads would team with COTA to provide the bus passes for district workers from June 1, 2018, to the end of 2020. An $80,000 test program that ran fr

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