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2011

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Ohio Turnpike Leasing Questions

TMACOG staff has prepared a briefing paper that is a summary of recommendations related to leasing or otherwise changing the current ownership and/or operating arrangements of the Ohio Turnpike. As northwest Ohio’s regional planning organization, TMACOG has an interest in facilitating a robust consideration of the issues surrounding Ohio’s Turnpike lease proposal. This issue involves many stakeholders and could have impacts on turnpike usage, toll rates, the ability to make improvements across the transportation system, and even Ohio’s economic competitiveness.

The TMACOG Executive Committee passed a resolution supporting the briefing paper recommendations because the turnpike is a key passenger and freight transportation facility in the region. Any changes to its operations – such as the toll structure or standards for its physical condition – directly impact intersecting and nearby parallel routes. The three access points in northwest Ohio are among the top revenue-generating turnpike gates. The TMACOG resolution supports sound reasoning, careful analysis, and open communication as all aspects of current and future ownership are weighed.

Currently, the state of Ohio is reviewing letters of interest from 14 companies all seeking to be selected as the project management consultant. The selected firm will help the state evaluate a range of ownership options ranging from public ownership, to a public-private blend, to a long-term lease. The first stage of the timeline calls for the details of the preferred option to be released to the public by January, 2012. If a lease option is found to be viable, extensive further analysis will be the next step.

The TMACOG paper is a thorough review of the ownership and operating options for the Ohio Turnpike. Extensive research is linked in the bibliography of the TMACOG report. See the complete briefing paper here.


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