Groups working for good transportation choices in Ohio and Pennsylvania agree with the Post-Gazette (“For Cleveland Kinship,” June 21 editorial) that Cleveland and Pittsburgh have much in common beyond our love of winning sports. It’s a shared fate about jobs and development of our industrial and “eds and meds” economies — and those will depend on links created by better public transportation.
Passenger trains are the way to make that happen. In our 135-mile corridor live 6.7 million people, more than in 37 states and comparable to densities of Europe’s busiest corridors that enjoy fast, frequent passenger trains. That kind of passenger rail can serve not just the two big cities at either end but also many cities and towns in between, such as New Castle and Youngstown.
Sadly, Cleveland and Pittsburgh lack alternatives to driving — each day, only one Amtrak train, running late at night, and three daytime Greyhound buses. That’s not good, especially if we’re serious about trying to compete with the East and West coasts for innovative young people to build tomorrow’s opportunities.
Regional synergies among dozens of universities and innovative businesses depend on the mobility and retention of the 150,000 students within this corridor, many of them uninterested in owning cars. We want to encourage them to remain here as productive, post-graduate citizens, populating cities and towns enhanced by rail stations linked by modern, convenient passenger rail.
Cleveland and Pittsburgh can beat the coasts at more than hockey and basketball if we work together — except on fall Sundays, of course!
All Aboard Ohio
Western Pennsylvanians for Passenger Rail