For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Schilling
(614) 466 7750
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Dec. 4, 2013) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved three highway-rail grade crossing projects in Coshocton, Cuyahoga and Trumbull counties. The projects include:
The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions. For more information regarding these crossings, access the Ohio railroad information system website at http://gradecrossings.puco.ohio.gov/.
PUCO Overseeing Ohio Railroad Safety
For more than 150 years, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has been responsible for ensuring the safety of motorists at public highway-rail grade crossings in Ohio.
Utility and transportation regulation began in Ohio in 1867 when the General Assembly established the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads and Telegraphs. In 1888 the Ohio Legislature created additional responsibilities to secure the safe operation of railroads. Then in 1906 the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation restructuring the office as the Railroad Commission and expanding its duties before a name change in 1913 to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
Ohio has the fifth highest rail traffic in the country. The PUCO works to ensure safety over approximately 5,300 miles of railroad track and 5,800 public railroad crossings in the state. The PUCO works to improve safety at Ohio’s public highway-rail grade crossings through education and outreach, crossing inspections, local funding opportunities and the installation of safety improvements at crossings across the state.
Through October 2013, a total of 70 federal, state and locally funded safety upgrades have been ordered this year by the PUCO—including the installation of lights and gates, supplemental assistance upgrades, circuitry upgrades and closings. Safety at railroad crossings has improved greatly in recent years as a result of these activities. The annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 123 in 2001 to 71 in 2012.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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