Posts Tagged ‘busing’

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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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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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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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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