Rail down in Ohio

Via EP: Amtrak says 3C passenger plan to cost $500 million to get under way in the Plain Dealer.

Passenger train service between Cleveland and Cincinnati would carry nearly half a million passengers a year, but cost more than $500 million to get under way, according to a study released Tuesday by Amtrak.

Or in other words $1000 per annual passenger (divide by number of years to spread the total cost over all users) to get under way, without considering operating costs. Let's say 10 years, so $100 per passenger (ignoring discounting).

But a one-way ticket from Cleveland to Cincinnati would cost $25.50 at the Amtrak average of 10 cents per mile, said Ken Prendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio, a nonprofit agency that promotes rail travel.

So it won't cover costs, how disappointing.

Varner said ODOT is studying ways to find more funds for bus service. But the state has to invest in all modes of transportation. The Amtrak report shows Ohioans support passenger rail and nearly 6 million people live within 15 miles of the 3C route, he said.

"What we are seeing is the pent-up demand," he said.

Sure, Ohioans support the rest of the country paying for their service at a subsidy exceeding $75 per trip, why wouldn't they? And of those 6 million people near the route, only 500K per year are going to use, or one trip per person every 12 years.


But, wait, there is the economic development potential, according to this article: Passenger rail service brought $7B in investments, jobs, developer says in the Dayton Daily news.

Now I am convinced. Rail magically turns $100M to $7B, what a great investment.

David Levinson

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on September 16, 2009 1:23 PM.

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