(A) The Ohio rail development commission shall do all of the following:
(1) Develop, promote, and support safe, adequate, and efficient rail service throughout the state;
(2) Maintain adequate programs of investigation, research, promotion, planning, and development for rail service, which programs shall include the consideration of recommendations by public or private planning organizations;
(3) Provide for the participation of private corporations or organizations and the public in the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of rail service, and as franchisees of rail service.
(B) In regard to rail service, the Ohio rail development commission is the successor of the Ohio high speed rail authority and the division of rail transportation of the department of transportation. The commission shall succeed to all federal allotments, entitlements, subsidies, and grants now existing, whether such allotments, entitlements, subsidies, and grants are encumbered or unencumbered, in the same manner and with the same authority as the Ohio high speed rail authority and the division of rail transportation exercised prior to October 20, 1994.
(C) Every authority, commission, department, or other agency of this state shall provide the commission with data, plans, research, and any other information that the commission requests to assist it in performing its duties pursuant to this chapter.
(D) The commission may request and contract with any railroad to provide it with data and information necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. All railroads operating within this state shall provide the requested data and information to the commission. The commission shall not disclose any confidential data or information supplied to it.
(E) The commission shall cooperate with the director of development by exercising the commission's duty to promote and develop rail service in this state in conjunction with the director's exercise of his duty to promote the economic development of this state.
(F) The commission, when developing rail service throughout the state, may give priority to projects undertaken within the geographic boundaries of qualifying subdivisions.
Effective Date: 10-20-1994; 12-30-2004; 06-27-2005 .