Due to a shortage of time, I didn’t give my 30-Minute map much detailed analysis. I want to follow up with a string of thoughts about mobility and bus service in Columbus. I may go into more detail later if I have the time and inclination.
- Most of the local routes will travel 5 to 6 miles in 30 minutes (10-12 MPH) in the PM rush hour. This is, as expected, just slightly less than the average speed of the system (see #2).
- The average speed of a COTA bus, system-wide, is 12.4 MPH (from 2008 NTD data). That includes all routes, all times of day, all days of the week. This is typical for transit, but going slower than a bicycle probably makes it hard to attract choice customers (see #3).
- 2008 Census American Community Survey (Table C-08141) data shows 564,572 workers in Franklin County. 14,392 (2.5%) have no vehicle available. Of those, 4,685 (32.6%) take transit to work. Of workers with one vehicle available, only 3.5% take transit to work. With two or more vehicles available, less than 1% take transit.
- The #15 Grove City seems to move pretty fast, going over 7 miles in 30 minutes (14+ MPH). However, the ability of customers to access stops on Harrisburg Pike is limited by street connectivity and railroad tracks to the west. Some similar impacts to the walking-shed are seen on the east side of Cleveland Avenue.
- The #2 N High Street doesn’t do as well, only going about 4.5 miles in 30 minutes (9 MPH). The slower speeds are likely due to heavier passenger loading than other routes. Efforts to improve the speed of service should focus on North High Street, in my opinion. I’m thinking a limited-stop, pre-pay only, proof-of-payment system, with boarding through multiple doors could help a lot.
- The #4 Indianola can be a faster alternative to the #2 if you live in the campus area and can walk to either.
- North Linden is one of the only “inner neighborhoods” without a quick route to downtown. The #8 doesn’t get beyond Hamilton & 26th within 30 minutes, so really doesn’t take you anywhere you can’t get on a different route in that time period. The #8 becomes more useful (in terms of coverage) as you go further north, but not so much within 30 minutes. A major purpose of the route is likely just to serve as extra capacity and frequency through the Short North and Weinland Park on North High Street.
- Several express routes do a nice job expanding the reaches of the local bus system during rush hours. These include the #53 West Broad, #43 East Broad, #35 Tamarack Express, and #37 Westerville Express. The last two operate on Cleveland Avenue.
- Other express routes provide some nice islands of mobility. These include the #32 Crosswoods Express, #34 Karl Road Express for Morse Road, #41 Gahanna Express, #45 Reynoldsburg Express, #47 Brice Road Express, #54 London-Groveport Express, and #64 Grove City Express.