Posts Tagged ‘COTA’

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) continues to add new service late into the weekend hours with the introduction of a new late night route on West Broad Street. Route number #222 is a new bus line launching tonight that connects Downtown Columbus with the Columbus Hollywood Casino from 7pm to 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. (CLICK HERE to view a PDF of the #222 Bus Schedule).

Leadership at COTA worked with officials at the Hollywood Casino to identify transit service that would benefit employees at the casino and also provide enhanced services for casino visitors. During the daytime, COTA operates four lines that service the west side area near the casino — routes #3, #6, #10 and #53.

“Customers routinely request more late night COTA service and we saw the employment opportunities coupled with the entertainment aspect as a way to replicate our Night Owl service in another part of the community,” said Marty Stutz, Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Customer Service at COTA. “From a planning perspective, the casino location serves as a good anchor for the end of a bus line, and West Broad Street is a busy transit corridor.”

COTA launched the #21 Night Owl route in 2009 servicing North High Street from Clintonville to Downtown Columbus during similar late night weekend timeframes. The service was originally targeted at Ohio State University students, but it proved popular enough to warrant expansion in 2010 and now continues on South High Street to German Village and the Brewery District.

“Increasingly we’re seeing more non-students riding including people who live along the High Street corridor getting to and from jobs or using it for recreation,” said Stutz. “For instance, Downtown or Victorian Village residents may take the Night Owl to events at the Wexner Center, and Clintonville residents may ride to movies at the South Campus Gateway.”

Similarly, while the new #222 service is being launched with casino visitors and employees in mind, Stutz expects to see a combination of vistors staying at Downtown hotels riding to the casino as well as other west side residents using it to travel to other destinations. Routes #21 and #222 have a transfer connection point at the Nationwide and High bus stops.

Beyond the #222, additional late night service could be launched if public demand warrants it. COTA is hosting the first of three Short-Range Transit Plan Update (SRTP) meetings where they will engage the public on the future needs of the community.

“It’s really a decision that will be made after we have a greater understanding of our customers’ needs balanced with the financial resources needed to add late night service,” says Stutz.

If you’re unable to attend the meetings, you can still provide feedback through an online form on COTA’s website.

More information can be found online at www.cota.com.

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Bill Lhota just can’t get enough of our local bus system. After stepping into the position of President and CEO of COTA in 2004, he originally planned a much shorter tenure, but signed up for a contract renewal through 2010, and today renewed again through June of 2012.

“I am excited to remain on board as we prepare for new leadership,” Lhota said. “It is important that we maintain our forward momentum and I look forward to facilitating a smooth, orderly and effective transition to new COTA leadership.”

Additionally, the COTA Board of Trustees are planning the creation of a new position of Senior Vice President and COO who will work with Lhota and potentially succeed him as President and CEO in 2012.

The full press release of the announcment can be found at COTA.com.

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(Originally posted HERE on ColumbusUnderground.com)

COTA is turning a little bit greener today as they introduce six new hybrid-electric buses into their fleet. The hybrid buses will feature a distinct design and color scheme that will help them to stand out from the standard vehicles.

“COTA is committed to making environmentally responsible choices that ensure our business practices support healthy, livable communities,” said Bill Lhota, COTA President and CEO. “Sustainable actions taken today will protect the environment for the future.” (more…)

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From lwvcols.org:

Is central Ohio ready to go “Beyond the Bus?” Hear different visions for the future of public transit in the metro area.

Gulsah Akar, a visiting assistant professor in city and regional planning at OSU’s Knowlton School of Architecture, will moderate a discussion of transit prospects among a panel that will include:

  • Chester Jourdan, executive director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission;
  • Bill Lhota, president and chief executive officer, Central Ohio Transit Authority; and
  • Brent Simonds, advocacy coordinator, Mid-Ohio Board for an Independent Living Environment, Inc. (MOBILE).

Registration begins at 5:30, with a cash bar available, and dinner will be served at 6:15 at a charge of $25. Payment need not be made in advance, but you must RSVP to Amy Pulles at the League office by Mar. 15 if you want a dinner reserved for you, indicating regular or vegetarian. The panel discussion begins at 7:15 and is free and open to the public.

The general meeting – open to members as well as anyone who wants to learn more about transit options – is hosted by the League’s public transit study committee, chaired by Ellen Haider and Nancy Brown. The committee, which includes two members of the Delaware County League, has been working since last summer preparing background materials, pros and cons, and consensus questions that will help the Metro League reach consensus on a new public transit position later this spring.

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New COTA Fares Take Effect January 1st

Press Release:

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) fare adjustments are effective Friday, Jan. 1, 2010, for all fixed-route bus and paratransit services.

One-way Local fares will increase from $1.50 to $1.75, while Local Monthly Passes will increase from $45 to $55. A complete fare schedule is below.

*Transfers are FREE. ADA cardholders ride fixed-route service for FREE.

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COTA Route #21 Bar Crawl

The Create Columbus Commission is hosting a Bar Hop/Crawl this Friday night to raise awareness about the new COTA late-night #21 bus route that runs up and down High Street.

Join us for some drinks, and safely ride from stop to stop along the route. We’re starting at Barrio at 8pm and will be providing updates on our stops along the way (via twitter, facebook, CU, etc) so that folks can join us at any point along the trip.

Event info can be found on Facebook HERE.

More info about COTA’s #21 Route can be found HERE.

Anyone game for checking this out?

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One of the most frequently requested COTA upgrades I’ve heard would have to be the addition of a late night weekend bus route serving High Street that runs until the bars close down. It sounds like COTA has been listening.

In September, COTA will be launching a new route (numbered appropriately as the #21) that will run a loop from the Clintonville area down High Street to the Arena District from 7pm to 2:30am on Friday an Saturday nights. We’ll post timetables, maps, and other details as soon as they are made available.

The only thing the line needs now is a catchy nickname. Any suggestions?

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Urban In-Fill
Celebrating the COTA Challenge
December 2, 2008 by Jeff Johnson

It started last January with the simple idea of using public transportation to get to and from work, but only when it was convenient. I spent $45 on a transit pass and $30 on gas and set out to determine if I could make the combination work. Well, it worked and at the end of January, I still had gas in the tank.

Using those guidelines as the general rules for living throughout 2008, I have found myself, now in December, with more available money than ever before. Because I’ve been so fortunate, it’s time to pay it forward to someone else. At the end of December I will buy a January COTA transit pass for someone willing to give it a try. Ideally, I’d like to see the recipient use it for commuting to and from work a couple times per week, but I’ll place no limits on its use. Use it for whatever purpose you’d like, just use it.


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Press Release
COTA to Acquire Downtown Property for Administrative Offices
Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) has entered into an agreement to purchase an office building at 33 N. High Street in downtown Columbus. The purchase, which is contingent on the approval of the COTA Board of Trustees and completion of due diligence and analysis, will enable the Authority to relocate administrative and sales functions along with itsdowntown bus operator reporting station into a single, ADA accessible, COTA-owned facility.

“The opportunity to acquire the 33 N. High building provides COTA with a presence near Broad and High streets where much of our service operates, permits our employees to utilize the service we provide to the community and offers us greater visibility and convenience to our customers and the community,” said Bill Lhota, President/CEO.

In 2006, COTA announced its intention to relocate administrative operations from overcrowded space at its McKinley Avenue fixed-route bus and maintenance facility to a strategic location in the central business district. About 100 COTA employees will work in the building which has about 72,000 square feet and several long-term tenants.

“Our new location will also permit COTA to hold Board meetings and other public meetings in our own building with convenient access to public transportation,” Lhota said. COTA would like to commence operations at 33 N. High Street by the 3 rd quarter of 2009.

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COTA ridership rolling higher

COTA ridership rolling higher
The Dispatch – Friday, October 3, 2008

Bus ridership continues to thrive because of high gas prices.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority said the average weekday ridership on its fixed-route bus lines was 61,074 for the week ending Sept. 28, the highest such number since the first week of December 2001.

There were 8,000 more boardings for the week this year than during the same week in 2007.
Total ridership on fixed-route buses last week was 347,000, up about 15.6 percent from the same week in 2007.


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