This region has been at the heart of industrial activity since the time it was founded as a terminus of the Miami & Erie Canal, then as a key railway center between New York and Chicago, and then as a cornerstone of the automobile industry. Today, Toledo sits at the busiest intersection in the country – Interstate 75 and Interstate 80. Our region is within a 500-mile radius of more than 93 million people – almost 40 percent of the North American population.
The major transportation elements of our regional center include: the Toledo Express Air Commerce Park (with air cargo, rail accessibility and direct Ohio Turnpike access for triple truck trailers); the Airline Junction Intermodal Yard (connecting Toledo by rail to Chicago, Detroit and east coast ports); the Southern Great Lakes Distribution Corridor (with access to strategic north/south and east/west interstate highways serving all of eastern North America); the Toledo Seaport (with direct water access to the Saint Lawrence Seaway and European ports); the CSX National Gateway Intermodal Terminal (with direct rail access to east coast ports in North Carolina, Maryland and Pennsylvania); and the Amtrak Station (local transit and passenger rail connections to New York, Chicago and Detroit).
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority manages the two major aviation assets in the region – Toledo Express Airport and Toledo Executive Airport, also known as Metcalf Field. Both assets are owned by the City of Toledo and leased to the Port Authority, which has responsibility for day-to-day aviation operations. Services include passenger, cargo, military and general aviation.
In addition to offering both direct and connecting passenger air service, Toledo Express Airport is home to several Air Cargo operators and serves as the main North American Hub for BAX Global, an international air cargo company. BAX Global is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, which is one of the largest mobility and logistics companies in the world. Toledo Express is home to several customs brokers that can ensure the safe transport of international cargoes. Weekly round trip flights from Dubai to Toledo have been linking markets in Asia, Europe and the U.S. since 2007.
Toledo Express also houses a 5,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse that is available for perishable cargoes as well as general use. The refrigerated warehouse is situated in the Foreign Trade Zone. Since the warehouse became operational in January 2008, the airport has had more than 2 million pounds of cargo move through this facility.
The airport offers a wide variety of aviation services including three fixed-based operators (National Flight Services, Grand Aire and TOL Aviation), as well as a Cessna Citation Service Center, Flight Safety Training Center and Toledo Public Schools Aviation Center. It is also home to the United States Air Force's 180th Fighter Wing – an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter organization assigned to the Ohio Air National Guard.
The 180th Fighter Wing's primary mission is to train, organize and equip expeditionary war fighters to deploy, fight and win worldwide, with minimum response time, in cases of national emergency or war. The 180th FW was recently selected to stand up an ASA mission that will aid in the protection of the Continental United States and Canada under the direction of the North American Air Defense Command.
The Lake Erie Port of Toledo, Ohio, is a multi-modal transportation hub with heavy waterborne, rail and highway activity. The seaport, rail station, two airports and Foreign Trade Zone 8 are managed by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, which also plays a major role in economic development and innovative financing for northwest Ohio.The Port of Toledo is well-positioned as an inland distribution point for North American commerce and is home to 15 terminals linked to global markets through the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System. It handles more than 12 million tons of cargo and 700 vessel calls each year, and the Toledo Shipyard is home to one of the only U.S. full-service shipyards with graving docks on the lower lakes. Recent property acquisitions have more than doubled the size of the seaport – making it the largest land mass seaport on the Great Lakes.
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority acquired one of the last union stations constructed in the United States – Central Union Terminal – from Conrail in 1994. The Port Authority invested more than $11 million in various funds including federal grants and Port Authority funds to renovate the historic facility into a modern train and bus terminal and office complex. The terminal was rededicated as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza in 2001, and more than 100 passengers pass through the Plaza daily to destinations such as Chicago, Buffalo, NY and Washington D.C., making it one of Ohio’s busiest passenger rail hubs.
Additionally, four major freight railroads move freight through the region. With several rail yards loading petroleum products, automotive parts, completed automobiles, bulk and break-bulk cargo, and food products, Toledo ranks as one of the top five rail hubs in the U.S.*
Streets and Highways
Another of our region’s key transportation assets is a highway system with convenient access to an extensive interstate highway system. We are situated at a crossroads of two major trade routes within an emerging Great Lakes mega-region. Three major interstate highways serve this region; I-80 (east/west from New York to California); I-90 (east/west from Massachusetts to Washington); and I-75 (north/south from Canada/Michigan to Florida).
The highway system carries an average of more than 2 million vehicle trips per day with more than 11 percent made by trucks. Unique and vital to the commerce of northwest Ohio is the ability to move trucks carrying “Michigan Legal Loads” to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and businesses located in Williams, Fulton and Lucas counties. While the maximum load for trucks operating in Ohio is 80,000 pounds, trucks carrying loads up to 154,000 pounds are permitted on designated roadways in Ohio counties bordering Michigan. Access and uncongested traffic flow to both Canadian and Michigan markets is essential for the commercial viability of many steel, agriculture and similar enterprises located in Ohio counties bordering Michigan.
*Source: TMACOG, Toledo Regional Economic Plan, Transportation and Logistics Industry Sector
Distance to Other Area Destinations (in miles)
Chicago, IL — 245
Cincinnati, OH — 205
Cleveland, OH — 120
Columbus, OH — 145
Detroit, MI — 60
Indianapolis, IN — 235
New York, NY — 560
Pittsburgh, PA — 230
With 34 bus routes, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) serves the communities of Toledo, Ottawa Hills, Perrysburg, Maumee, Rossford, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Spencer Township and Waterville with second-to-none service and trouble-free, safe travel. All buses are wheelchair accessible, equipped with bike racks and are “green” – using biofuels to save money and protect our environment.
Ten free Park-N-Ride lots are available Monday through Friday to allow commuters to save gas and car maintenance while getting to and from work without any hassle. College students at the University of Toledo, Lourdes College, Owens Community College (main campus and the Maumee location), Stautzenberger College and Heidelberg at Arrowhead Park also enjoy convenient routes and schedules.
Additional services include: Call-A-Ride, an on-demand bus service for six different communities, game shuttles to the Mud Hens and Walleye events and TARPS paratransit service for travelers with special needs.
Cycling is not only a fun and inexpensive way to get around, but is healthy for both the rider and the environment. Miles of designated bike trails and paths in our region also make it safe and easy. These include several “rails-to-trails” pathways, part of the nationwide movement to rejuvenate former railroad corridors into linear parks where people can enjoy the beauty and solitude of the outdoors while also providing a safe alternate mode of transportation.
The University-Parks Bike-Hike Trail is a 6.3-mile paved, multi-purpose trail that is suitable for walking, jogging, inline skating and bicycling. The trail extends between King Road in Sylvania and the University of Toledo. The University-Parks Bike-Hike Trail connects with Wildwood Preserve Metropark, Ottawa Park and Franklin Park Mall.
The Wabash Cannonball Trail is a 63-mile, multi-use recreational trail in northwest Ohio that provides non-motorized access to hikers, bikers, equestrians and cross-country skiers. If you traverse the length of the trail, you will cross over 13 bridges.
The International Park Rotary Trail is a 2.6-mile trail on the Maumee River, which connects Miami Street to Main Street. The trail is suitable for biking, inline skating and walking.
The Slippery Elm rail-trail is a 13-mile paved path in Wood County that runs south from Bowling Green, through the small town of Rudolph, and finishes in North Baltimore. Its half-marathon length is ideal for runners in training, and the smooth surface is a joy for cyclists and inline skaters.