Press Release wrote COTA Ridership Continues to Grow Even as Gas Prices Retreat
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) experienced a 10 percent increase in ridership on its fixed-route bus service for the week ending November 9, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007. Total weekly ridership was 338,961, while average weekday ridership was 61,605. Average weekday ridership on COTA has been at or above the prior year for 48 of the past 53 weeks. 23 of the last 32 weeks have seen double digit percentage increases in ridership.
COTAÃ¯Â¿Â½s year-to-date ridership is 13.8 million passenger trips, an increase of 1.3 million, or 10.3 percent.
COTA officials have attributed much of the increase in ridership to higher gasoline prices in 2008. However, as gas prices retreat, people appear to be staying with transit.
Ã¯Â¿Â½We believe that our ongoing service expansion program, which is adding about 60,000 service hours annually, the acquisition of new coaches for the expansion of our bus fleet, and our commitment to customer service are keeping our customers aboard,Ã¯Â¿Â½ said Bill Lhota, COTA President/CEO.
The transit authority has also experienced significant increases in monthly pass sales. In October, sales of Local monthly passes increased by 10.7 percent and Express pass sales were up an unprecedented 44 percent.
Ã¯Â¿Â½When customers purchase monthly passes, they are making a longer term commitment to taking transit,Ã¯Â¿Â½ Lhota said. Ã¯Â¿Â½Even with lower prices at the pump, customers realize the savings is still substantial when compared to fuel, parking and other costs associated with driving.Ã¯Â¿Â½