Posts Tagged ‘COTA’

Columbus Public Transit Ridership Rose in 2019

February 22, 2020

Ridership of public transportation provided by the Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus posted a 1.2 percent increase to more than 19 million last year.

It was the highest ridership numbers recorded by COTA since 1988.

Ridership began growing after COTA revamped its bus network in 2017. A year later the agency launched the CMAX Line and the C-Pass program that provides free bus passes to some downtown workers.

COTA also launched a pay by phone option last fall.

In a news release, COTA said it was one of just six transit agencies serving the top 30 markets to see ridership growth in 2018.

The agency’s board of trustees recently approved increasing the frequency of service on several popular routes.

The board also approved a plan to built 150 additional bus stop shelters over the next few years.

Group Pushing for Rail in Columbus

July 25, 2016

A Columbus public transportation advocacy group is pushing for the development of light trail after the city won a Smart City Challenge, which will steer a $50 million federal grant to Ohio’s capital city as part of a transportation makeover.

OhioTransit Columbus posted an online petition that calls on city and Central Ohio Transit Authority to consider light rail, bus rapid transit or streetcars.

The advocacy group cautioned city officials not to rely too much on driverless cars and other technologies that were proposed in the Smart City Challenge application.

Transit Columbus said it favors a wide range of transportation options, including rail.

That bid described Columbus as a test bed for midsize cities that don’t have light rail systems or other popular mass-transit options for moving residents.

Columbus said that landing the smart city grant could enable it to “leap frog” over rail.

“If we expect to have a really prosperous city, we can’t be a city that doesn’t invest in itself, especially in transit, because it’s going to enable us to compete better with other cities in the country,” said Josh Lapp, vice chairman of Transit Columbus, in an interview with Columbus Business First.

Lapp cited Portland, Oregon, and Denver as examples of what transit should look like in Columbus, which currently has only COTA buses as its public transportation offerings.

Public transportation advocates have argued that Columbus is the nation’s largest city without a rail commuter system.

COTA is in the midst of creating its NextGen plan, which will examine the city’s long-term transportation needs through 2050. The plan is expected to be released next year.

A COTA spokesperson said the NextGen plan will “consider any number of different technologies and alternatives.”