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Toledo council looks to fund passenger rail study

Travel from Toledo to Columbus, Detroit and Ann Arbor to be studied
Toledo council looks to fund passenger rail study
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Two studies that could soon be underway would look at whether rail would be a good and efficient way to leave the Toledo region and visit Detroit, Ann Arbor and Columbus.

The idea is to connect all those places to make this a region full of development.

It is very early in the process and no one knows exactly what the studies will say but if it happens we could see something transformational.

Right now the typical way to leave the Toledo area and head either to Ann Arbor, Detroit or Columbus it is by road. But what if rail system was a convenient option?

“If this really grows we could have all points Midwest and really compete with the coasts when it comes to economic development,” said Toledo city councilwoman Theresa Morris.

Councilwoman Morris is pushing two plans. Studying rail from Toledo to Columbus and Toledo to Ann Arbor and Detroit. The Columbus study is $20,000 for an economic study. Detroit/Ann Arbor is a little further ahead and that would be $300,000 for an environmental study.

“Everything from noise pollution to air pollution to impact on the environment. There’s a lot of wetlands,” said Morris.

“It connects this region together in way it never has been before,” said Brad Williams from the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Williams says connecting our two regions makes total sense for work, recreation and potential growth for each city, state, and beyond.

“There’s a long record of Ohio and Michigan not wanting to work together but we have to think about not just Michigan and Ohio but Canada too. This is not just a two-state region, this is a two-country region,” said Williams.

Many logistics need to be worked out locally including where a train station would happen, infrastructure and maybe most importantly will be the cost. If it happens, it could change so much in the region.

“I think you could see transit oriented development. We’re talking about maybe having a train station were maybe people could live, people could work, people could shop and people could travel,” said Morris.

There is no schedule on when all these studies will be done or when these projects could come to life. As for paying for it all Morris says certainly the federal government would need to be involved.

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