Packed COTA buses passing by waiting riders
More people using public transit amid higher gas prices
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:52 PM
By Tim Doulin
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH“That happens to me all the time,” said Laverne Morris, a longtime COTA rider from Gahanna who works at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a secretary.She said the No. 1 Cleveland Avenue bus regularly passes her by, including one morning last week at 5th Avenue, where she was waiting to transfer.
“I had to wait for the next bus,” she said. “They run every 10 minutes, but it made me late for work.”
High gasoline prices are leading more people to use COTA, which four years ago was in financial trouble and soon began to cut its budget and services.
William Lhota, Central Oho Transit Authority president and chief executive, said buses sometimes have to pass by passengers.
“The big local lines — the Cleveland Avenue, the High Street, the East and West Broad Street, the Livingston Avenue and Main Street — at the peak time, it is just a matter of more customers than we have capacity on the bus,” Lhota said.
It will be interesting to see what COTA comes up with for its September service changes after the new buses arrive this summer. When ridership is up 17.5%, there are plenty of needs and a lot of options to grow. It’s definitely an exciting time for the transit industry.