Cincinnati, Tri-State leaders meet to discuss regional transit plans

CINCINNATI -- Senior officials from Cincinnati and Hamilton County will meet Thursday to discuss integration among the region’s transportation systems.

Mayor John Cranley and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune will head up the debate.

The meeting will also include officials from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the Cincinnati Port Authority, and national and local freight rail companies.

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Cranley had previously called for such a meeting, saying that as the city moved forward with the streetcar project, the area’s transportation systems and initiatives needed to be fully integrated.

Portune also heads the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District and is President of the OKI Regional Council of Governments. OKI represents more than 200 local governments in eight Tri-State counties.

"The region's transportation requirements don't begin and end with the Streetcar or regional bus systems, but they also include the Eastern Corridor Oasis Rail line that will be the first leg of a regional passenger rail system. We must fully engage the region's freight rail sector so that we might best leverage the freight capacity in our region in ways that also support the expansion of passenger rail service,” Portune said in a release.

The meeting will be held at the Cincinnati Museum Center from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Speakers and panelists at the event will include:

  • Karen Hedlund, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration
  • Jay Williams, nominated by the President to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, and currently Executive Director, Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Steve Mary, Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Terry Garcia Crews, General Manager & CEO, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority
  • Mary Stagaman, Vice President of Regional Initiatives and Executive Director of Agenda 360, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Mark Policinski, Director, OKI Regional Council of Governments

The Federal Transit Administration and Duane Callender, Director, US Department of Transportation Office of Innovative Program Delivery, were also invited to speak.

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