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First Bus Rapid Transit Line in Columbus Breaks Ground Today

Walker Evans Walker Evans First Bus Rapid Transit Line in Columbus Breaks Ground TodayPhoto via COTA.
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Columbus will be getting its first-ever Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in 2018, which officially broke ground with construction today. Representatives from the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) along with other civic leaders held a special event to commemorate the occasion.

“We’re pleased to celebrate construction of CMAX, central Ohio’s first bus rapid transit line,” said Curtis Stitt, COTA President and CEO. “The high frequency service with improved travel times and upgraded customer amenities will enhance access to jobs, education and training opportunities, healthcare and other services in our community. CMAX will not only improve transportation in central Ohio, it has the potential to change lives.”

Once launched, the line will run from Downtown Columbus, up Cleveland Avenue to the Ohio Health Medical Center on Polaris Parkway, providing rapid connectivity to neighborhood that include Milo-Grogan, Linden, Northland and Westerville. COTA officials have stated that it will service more than 211,000 residents and 170,000 workers along the 15 mile corridor.

Earlier today, Stitt issued a statement via email asking for public support for a tax levy renewal that will be on this fall’s ballot.

For more information, visit www.cota.com/brt.


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  • Steve Szuter

    Oh heyall yes.

  • taxguy17

    What north/south street downtown is being used for this line? I didn’t see it in the article or the linked information.

    • The Downtown street in the in-set on the map is High Street. You can see it in the video. Not sure why it’s not labeled on the map.

  • Tom

    It’s not clear to me what Bus Rapid Transit is reading the article or jumping to the cota article. The buses drive faster? More frequently? Have fewer stops? What are they building that requires breaking ground – stations? How is this different from a COTA bus route?

  • It’s a start, but real BRT in other countries operates more like a streetcar/tram with dedicated lanes. To speed the boarding process you buy a ticket at the stop, then board the bus from either door similar to a train. If everyone has to board from the front door single file and pay fares to the one machine by the bus driver, now rapid can this BRT really be?

    • JDS

      As someone who grew up in Columbus and have visited and lived various places in the world, Columbus is extremely behind in mass transit to the point where is resembles mass transit in oh say most of Floriduh.

    • Mike Beaumont

      The Cmax won’t have dedicated lanes but with the Smart City grant, it will have signal priority via wireless sensors. And COTA will benefit from a Smart City-funded, city-wide transit pass, so users will be able to pre-load cards.

  • MysteryMeat

    Grr close but is it going to go towards Polaris and some of the job centers that way? We need to get people to jobs.

    • Mike Beaumont

      Yes, that’s exactly where it’s going.

  • Fur614

    I agree with most that this is a “start”. I think we ALL hope and pray that $50MM doesn’t go to a bunch of failed experiments. This is such a critical piece that can advance the city. The people of this city want to see ascension, not regression.

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