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Public Transit Advocates Say They've Been Excluded From Transportation Group

Esther Honig

A 15-member committee will meet soon to make recommendations on how to fix Ohio’s lack of funding for major road construction. But public transportation advocates say they’ve been left out of the process.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s Advisory Committee on Transportation Infrastructure will weigh options such as increasing the gas tax and tacking a fee onto electric vehicles. It includes members representing the oil and gas industry, local government, automakers and drivers.

But Alison Goebel with the Greater Ohio Policy Center said something’s missing from that group.

“No one is actually there speaking on behalf of public transportation, and that seems like a major oversight," Goebel said.

Greater Ohio does research on economic development and growth in urban and rural areas.

Goebel said taxing surface parking lots, parking garages and out-of-state car buyers could net tens of millions that could go to public transit. And she said that investment could mean less repairing of existing roads and fewer new roads built.