‘Cash for Clunkers’ Backer Sutton Steps it Up for Ohio Transit

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) was one of the prime movers behind the economically and environmentally misguided "cash for clunkers" program, but she is switching gears to help save transit in Lorain County, Ohio, where bus service could be canceled in 2010 after voters rejected a sales tax increase to raise operating funds.

betty_sutton_energy.jpgRep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) (Photo: OHP)

The local Chronicle-Telegram newspaper reports that Sutton is seeking approval from congressional leaders for the county to reprogram $1.5 million in unspent stimulus money:

Sutton sent letters this week to David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the
U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, and Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., who
chairs the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure,
seeking approval for LCT to use $1.5 million in untapped American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds to operate the bus system.

“We hope new appropriations bills can be OK’d by year’s end that
will let us use this unspent capital money,” Cordes said. “We’re trying
to avert a total shutdown.”

Officials have said it is vital for the county to maintain some form
of public transportation to remain eligible for federal transportation
funds.

The inability of many localities to spend federal aid on transit
operating costs — thus creating jobs for drivers, maintenance workers,
and other day-to-day staff — has left many rail and bus networks
facing punishing service cuts.

Congress agreed
in June to let states use 10 percent of their stimulus grants for
operating assistance, but Sutton’s move could open the door for that
number to increase in the coming weeks.

  • Betty – it would be a lot easier to find the 1.5 MILLION if you had not blown 3 BILLION.

  • misguided cash for clunkers?
    Ever ridden behind a clunker and enjoyed the pungent odor?
    Name another stimulus program that required the consumer to get rid of something bad to get what the consumer desired…for a discount!

  • Cash for Clunkers did absolutely nothing for auto makers or the economy. It simply destroyed 690,000 cars that ran. Many of those cars were in good condition. As a result, used car prices have increased and car donations have decreased.

  • Karl

    Diverting ARRA funds into operations and maintenance is like emptying a bucket into a stream – it has no net effect to positive impact on infrastructure or sustainability.

  • How does buying a bus that has no driver have a positive impact?

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