Category Archives: Transportation

Governor Signs Ohio Transportation Bill

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 74, Ohio’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 transportation budget, into law.

“This budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.” 

House Bill 74, sponsored by Representative Scott Oelslager, was approved with bipartisan support in both the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, investing $8.3 billion over the biennial.  

The biennial budget includes:

  • $318 million for highway safety projects.
  • $2.6 billion for other state-maintained roadway improvements.
  • $2.4 billion for local roadway improvements.
  • $74 million in public transit.
  • $116 million for the Public Works Commission, including $14 million for emergency road-slip repair.
  • $8 million for electric vehicle charging station grants through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Additionally, the biennial budget includes various provisions to enhance and expand services offered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, requires the completion of classroom or online instruction for driver’s training before beginning behind-the-wheel instruction, repurposes closed weigh stations, and creates a school zone around a preschool.

Governor DeWine also signed the following bills into law Wednesday. 

  • Senate Bill 18, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Tim Schaffer, incorporates federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changes into Ohio’s tax code, amends Section 36 of House Bill 481 of the 133rd General Assembly to modify the law governing taxation, and declares an emergency.
  • House Bill 128, sponsored by Representatives Jim Hoops and Dick Stein, repeals nuclear provisions of House Bill 6 of the 133rd General Assembly and makes changes to electric utility service law.
  • Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Bill Blessing III, enters Ohio into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact will make it easier for Ohio’s physical therapists to practice in other compact states, and non-Ohio physical therapists to practice here.
  • Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Kristina Roegner, enters Ohio into the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact is not yet active, but nine other potential member states have pending legislation to join. 

ODOT Sending Funds To Help Transport People To COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS )– As COVID-19 vaccination efforts ramp up across Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation is providing extra funding to help local transit agencies and health departments to ensure all eligible Ohioans can get to vaccination sites.

“We want to make sure all Ohioans who want the vaccine have equal ability to get the vaccine,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Equity includes having access to transportation services.”

The Rides for Community Immunity program will provide $7 million distributed across all 88 counties to help get Ohio’s most vulnerable populations transportation to vaccine locations. For the 70 counties that have public transit programs, ODOT will be awarding the funds directly to public transit agencies. In the 18 counties that do not have transit service the funding will be given to the county health department and can used for purchased transportation services.

“Transportation should not be a hurdle to any eligible Ohioan who wants to be vaccinated. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that access is available to all Ohioans, not just those with a vehicle or that live near a vaccination site,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

All public transit recipients will work with their local county health department and local EMA to identify the best way to use these funds. Local officials could leverage existing investments, such as offering vouchers for transit passes, or use these funds in conjunction with other transportation resources to help cover any additional cost that may be associated with keeping our communities healthy.

“Governor DeWine’s decision to provide additional funding targeted to support transportation to vaccination sites will help public transit agencies address the challenges of identifying and reaching those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Claudia Amrhein, General Manager/CEO of Portage Area RTA and President of the Ohio Public Transportation Association. “As public transit providers continue serving our communities through this pandemic, we are well positioned to coordinate with public health departments and county EMAs to facilitate access to vaccination sites.”

Funding will be distributed based on the most recent U.S. Census data and will not require any type of local match. Ohioans who have transportation needs are encouraged to reach out to either their local public transit agency or health department for details specific to their area.

Area communities included on the list to receive the transit funding are: Chillicothe, Circleville, Hillsboro, Washington CH, Piketon, Jackson County, Hocking County, Lancaster, Portsmouth and Vinton County.