S.O.R.T.A Board endorses proposed bike trail on the Oasis Rail Line
The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) has officially endorsed the use of the north track of the Oasis Line as a temporary bike, recreational, and transportation trail.
CINCINNATI – The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) has officially endorsed the use of the north track of the Oasis Line as a temporary bike, recreational, and transportation trail.
The SORTA Board has directed Metro staff to work with stakeholders including Great Parks of Hamilton County, the Ohio River Way, the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and the I&O Railroad to achieve this goal and to address and solve for the issues including:
• Design of a safe trail
• Design of a trail that does not preclude future Oasis passenger rail line
• Design of a trail and lease structure that does not impose undue risk on SORTA
• Compliance with regulatory issues governed by agencies such as and not limited to the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Surface Transportation Board
• Design of a trail that takes into account input from the I&O Railroad and customers along the Oasis Line
“After a comprehensive three-month review of all aspects of the issue, the SORTA Board has overwhelmingly endorsed the concept of a temporary bike trail on the Oasis Line. We will do all in our power to work collaboratively with our partners to support the development of the trail,” said Jason Dunn, Chair of the SORTA Board. “The trail is an asset that the community clearly wants and it will be an enhancement to multimodal transportation in the region.”
In December 2014, a special sub-committee of the SORTA Board was formed to explore the feasibility of using the Oasis Line for a temporary bike trail. The sub-committee comprehensively reviewed options and discussed the proposed trail with stakeholders and transportation partners that would be affected by this initiative.
Background: The Oasis Line right-of-way was purchased in 1994 by SORTA and the Cincinnati Terminal Railway, now the Genesee & Wyoming (Indiana & Ohio) Railroad. Federal and state of Ohio funds were used to purchase the right-of-way for future transportation purposes. The Oasis Line is a part of the Eastern Corridor multimodal transportation planning effort for future rail enhancements.
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