Group Urges Light Rail be Included in Columbus Transportation Plan

A streetcar in Tucson, Ariz., in 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Transportation advocates in Columbus, Ohio, not to exclude light rail in its future transportation plans and has started a petition urging officials not to overlook light rail, Columbus Business First reported.

The U.S. Department of Transportation last month named Ohio’s capital city the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. The city, which bested six other cities for the honor, is receiving $40 million from the feds and up to another $10 million from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.

Using these resources, Columbus will work to reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully-integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology, and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move throughout their city.

“Columbus has an opportunity to leapfrog its peers by investing in a holistic transportation system that is driven by data, not by abandoning high capacity transit,” Transit Columbus said in a blog post. “We know that no one transportation solution will help us accommodate the coming growth in population, it must be an ‘all in’ solution.

“The future of our city is riding in the choices we make now,” the group added. “Will we succumb to a new era of non-sustainable sprawl or will we pick a new direction, one of people friendly, walkable development that is anchored by a multimodal transportation system that embraces the best technologies of every mode.”