November & December 2012
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2012 Passenger Rail Forum

Amtrak Chair Thomas Carper explained the economic impact of passenger rail to a standing room only crowd of about 140 at the 2012 Passenger Rail Forum on October 22. He pointed out that economic development has always clustered around transportation facilities and that younger people are increasingly seeking options to personal cars. Additionally, he noted that Amtrak purchases lots of manufactured goods, from seats, to wheels, to engines and noted that the Midwest was the manufacturing center of the country. Mr. Carper’s presentation is here on the TMACOG website.

In introducing Mr. Carper, U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur pointed out that rail travel is competitive with other modes of travel at distances from 50 to 500 miles. As population grows, she expects that rail will become increasingly attractive as a cost-effective and time-effective option.

During the question and answer period, people spoke about how rail is a good option for business travel, and often the best option for people with disabilities, and asked how communities could promote increased passenger rail infrastructure and service.

The event was moderated by Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Lucas County Commissioner. Displays at the forum provided information about event co-sponsor Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association (NOPRA), as well as All Aboard Ohio and Ohio Higher Education Rail Network (OHERN), and included information on how other states are partnering with Amtrak to expand service. People interested in joining NOPRA can request information at NWOhioPassengerRail@gmail.com.

Thomas C. Carper speaks at the Toledo Club at the 2012 Passenger Rail Forum

The 2012 Passenger Rail Forum was a full house with dozens of elected officials, economic development professionals, and transportation professionals.

Don Yerks, chair of Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association (NOPRA), welcomed the crowd at the forum.

U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur responds to a question from the floor at the passenger rail forum.

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