Ohio DOT’s Defense of the Transit-Inaccessible Transit Meeting

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Transportation held a meeting ostensibly to gather feedback from transit riders in the Dayton and Cincinnati regions. But ODOT held the meeting in exurban Lebanon — a hour’s trip by car from Cincinnati and totally inaccessible by transit from either city.

What was ODOT thinking?

Is it just a symptom of the agency’s low regard for transit riders? In an attempt to find out, I called ODOT and asked to talk to one of their many professional spokespeople. One of the media representatives politely took my phone number and said he’d ask someone to call me back. No one did.

So, below is the transcript of my non-interview with an apparently too-busy ODOT:

You have been hosting these transit meetings around the state to gather feedback about how the system is functioning. Why did you decide to hold them during the middle of the day? I’ve attended ODOT meetings in the evening for highway projects. Did you decide to handle meetings for transit riders differently and if so, why?

No answer.

Seems like an agency that was genuinely interested in gathering feedback would be sure to hold their meetings during a convenient time. 

Silence.

The Cincinnati/Dayton meeting was especially outrageous. The meeting was held well outside transit service ranges for either metro area. How did you expect to get feedback from transit riders if they couldn’t reach the meeting?

……

Why not hold separate meetings — one in Cincinnati and one in Dayton? 

[Crickets chirping.]

AWESOME speaking with you guys. Very reassuring.

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