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WHAT IS THE MIDWEST INTERSTATE PASSENGER RAIL COMMISSION AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

If you attended the statewide Zoom meeting earlier this month, you heard quite a bit about the MIDWEST INTERSTATE PASSENGER RAIL COMMISSION (MIPRC) and why it’s so important for Ohio to rejoin. For those who weren’t able to attend the Zoom meeting, let’s talk a bit about MIPRC and what it means for passenger rail expansion in Ohio.


The MIPRC acts as the governing body for the Midwest Regional Rail Plan, the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) high-level view for passenger rail in the Midwest. MIPRC has representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin and Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota are eligible to join.


What does that mean and why is it important for Ohio to rejoin the MIPRC? MIPRC works with FRA and Amtrak to ensure that the passenger rail network in the Midwest serves the region in the best possible way. Without a seat at the table, Ohio doesn’t have input about how existing routes pass through our state, and won’t have a voice in how those longer distance routes interact with our proposed expansion. With membership to the MIPRC, Ohio can advocate for increased service along the Lakeshore and Capital Limited corridor on the north side of the state, and daily service of the Cardinal corridor through Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio. Ohio can also work collaboratively with the MIPRC to effectively link our proposed corridors with the existing stops to ensure seamless travel throughout Ohio and outside our borders.


The good news is that the Ohio Legislature is taking action. There is a bipartisan bill in our House of Representatives (HB488, Ghanbari/Skindell) that would get Ohio back in to the MIPRC. The bill has been assigned to committee and awaits its first hearing. A companion bill is soon to be introduced in the Senate. All Aboard Ohio is asking our members and friends to reach out to their State Representatives to let them know how important it is to rejoin MIPRC. If you don’t feel comfortable writing your own letter, watch the website – we’re developing model letters that you can use.


Be sure to follow All Aboard Ohio on all the social media platforms for the latest on our efforts to get Ohio back into the MIPRC!


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