COTA considers bendy buses to cope with busier routes
* The transit authority examines Cleveland’s use of high-capacity articulated buses.
By KATHLEEN L. RADCLIFF
Published: Monday, July 21, 2008 9:47 AM EDT
As gas prices continue to climb, more Central Ohio residents are using the Central Ohio Transit Authority to get from point A to point B.
Ridership is up 8 percent for 2008, resulting in some of the transit authority’s busiest routes — No. 1 Cleveland Avenue, No. 2 High Street and No. 10 Broad Street — experiencing overcrowding, and, in some instances, being forced to leave passengers behind.
To help alleviate the problem, COTA officials looked to Ohio’s lakeshore. Representatives from the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority drove one of its newest fleet acquisitions — a 62-foot hybrid articulated bus — giving COTA employees and officials a test ride Thursday, July 17.
I just returned from a two-day trip to Cleveland, where we were learning about the Euclid Corridor BRT Health Line. We did take a tour of the corridor on one of these buses. They are very comfortable and look great inside and out. They are quieter and smoother than a normal diesel bus, but not as smooth as rail. I talked to the operator of the vehicle I rode, and he said it is easier to drive than a standard bus. The biggest difference from a typical articulated bus is that the bus has two doors on the left in addition to three on the right. This would not be necessary unless COTA were adding left-side stops somewhere. So COTA probably wouldn’t need this exact vehicle, but there are a lot of different articulated designs that look just as good.