Thursday, April 27, 2000

Bus to promote light rail plan




By ALLEN HOWARD
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Interstate 71 Light Rail planners will publicize the proposed $743 million system through a retrofitted bus called the Rail Blazer.

        It will travel through communities along the route of the proposed system, equipped with wall panels and informational brochures, said Judi Craig, I-71 Light Rail project manager.

        The bus was presented at a press conference Wednesday.

        Ms. Craig said the bus will appear at county fairs and church and community festivals in the next several months.

        People will be able to walk on the bus and view diagrams of the rail line and see pictures of the type of rail cars that would be used in the system.

        It will be equipped to show a video, “Linking Our Communities,” which outlines the benefits of adding light rail to the Tristate, Ms. Craig said.

        The video will soon be available at neighborhood community councils and libraries. It addresses the region's growth, traffic gridlock and options for dealing with transportation problems.

        The I-71 Light Rail planners have set up a Web site, http://www.cincylightrail.org, which provides information about the proposed light rail system, community meetings and the Rail Blazer schedule.

        The proposed rail line, being developed by the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Regional Council of Governments, stretches 43 miles along the I-71 corridor from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Paramount's Kings Island in Mason. If approved, the system could open by 2008. It would be funded by federal and state governments and communities the line will serve.

        The project team is gathering public comment on the rail system. To comment, call 621-6300.

       



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