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Columbus Foundation Awards Grant to All Aboard Ohio to Study Economic Impact of Passenger Rail

All Aboard Ohio (AAO) has been awarded an almost $17,000 grant by the Columbus Foundation for the purpose of conducting a detailed economic

impact study of the proposed revival of passenger rail service in the Cleveland-Columbus Dayton-Cincinnati rail corridor.

The Columbus-based policy analysis company, Scioto Analysis, has been hired to do the study with the aim of showing what the reintroduction of multiple daily trains in the 3C&D Corridor can generate in terms of business development, jobs and other community economic benefits for both the major cities and other station-stop communities like Crestline, Delaware, Springfield and Hamilton.

“We are grateful to the Columbus Foundation for this grant and excited about what positive economic benefits this study can determine,” says All Aboard Ohio Board Chair Erin Rosiello.

“When you introduce good, frequent and reliable service, passenger rail on state-supported corridors is already demonstrating significant economic growth in and around station stops in states like Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine and California,” says AAO Executive Director Stu Nicholson. “It is also giving people a good option to driving a car or the hassles of flying to do business or connect with jobs, education, health care and more. And given growing climate change concerns, we certainly need more and greener option.”

The study is expected to take slightly more than two months once it gets underway. Earlier this year, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered the Ohio Rail Development Commission to apply for Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) study grants for both the 3C&D Corridor and a corridor connecting Cleveland and Toledo with Detroit. Grants for at least four more corridors are also being sought by two of Ohio’s largest planning organizations in Cleveland and Columbus.

“But we want to focus on the 3C&D,” says Nicholson, “because it is the most densely populated and heavily traveled corridor in Ohio. The study results can potentially forecast what we can expect from the other corridors and demonstrate to Ohio’s leaders why we should pursue passenger rail to the next levels of environmental engineering and development.”

“This is one step in a long process,” says Board Chair Rosiello, “but it is one that can launch Ohio into a modern, multi-modal transportation system that moves more people, grows our economy and creates a more mobile workforce.”

All Aboard Ohio:

Celebrating our 50th year, All Aboard Ohio is the only statewide advocacy organization for improved passenger rail and public transportation. We work with public and private sector leaders as well as environmental, equality and justice, and transportation allies to seek a more connected Ohio and Midwest region.

Scioto Analysis:

Scioto Analysis is an economics and public policy analysis practice focused on improving decision making in order to improve lives. Scioto Analysis has conducted economic analysis for university, public sector, and nonprofit clients including Cleveland State University, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, the Ohio Association of Food Banks, Ohio State University, Ohio University, Power a Clean Future Ohio, and the RISE Together Innovation Institute.

Rob Moore (Principal):

Rob has worked as an analyst in the public and nonprofit sectors and has analyzed diverse issue areas such as economic development, environment, education, and public health. His specialty is applied microeconomic analysis of public policies and tradeoffs between efficiency and equity outcomes in economic development and social safety net programs. He is president of Gross National Happiness USA, a national grassroots organization promoting

multidimensional measurement of well-being in society and maintains memberships with the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis, and the Ohio Performance Evaluators’ Group, the latter of which he serves as a board member and policy chair.

Before becoming an analyst, Rob was a community organizer in Omaha, Nebraska. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Denison University.

“We are excited,” says Moore, ”to get this research started so that we may share this economic impact study with anyone and everyone who cares about the future of Ohio, it's economy, employment, attracting millennials and businesses, tourism all while improving our environment and ability to travel throughout our state. We look forward to sharing the results with you!”

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