Looking at another Republican Governor's Transit Record

MLewyn's picture

A few weeks ago I posted an entry on transit ridership under several Republican governors who might be running for President; since most governors are judged based on one or two high-profile decisions (e.g. support of high-speed rail) I thought it might be valuable to use another means of judging a governor's effect on day-to-day transit service.  I found that one governor's anti-transit reputation was indeed backed up by ridership statistics: in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, transit ridership has gone down over the past few years.  By contrast, in the home states of Gov. Chris Christie (New Jersey) and Rick Perry (Texas) ridership has continued to rise.

I recently read an article suggesting that Gov. John Kasich of Ohio might also run for President.  Kasich does not have a pro-transit reputation; he opposed both high-speed rail and the Cincinnati streetcar.  But his not-so-visionary leadership has not prevented Ohioans from being able to access buses (and in Cleveland, trains).  Cleveland transit ridership has risen from 34 million trips in the first three quarters of 2011 to 36.4 million in the first three quarters of 2013.  Smaller agencies have not done as well, but have not suffered either.  Cincinnati's transit ridership has risen very slightly, from 12.533 million trips in 2011 to 12.639 million in 2013.  Columbus ridership has declined but just barely, from 14.040 million in 2011 to 14.007 in 2013.   If you judge the Kasich record by short-term results, it seems moderately positive.


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