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COTA Ridership at Highest Level Since 1986

Walker Evans Walker Evans COTA Ridership at Highest Level Since 1986Photo via COTA Instagram.
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In November, COTA announced that ridership had broken a decade-high level, eclipsing the peak set in 2004. Today, COTA announced even higher levels of ridership, stating that local bus services were used more in 2014 than they have been in nearly thirty years.

“We’re very pleased that our 40th Anniversary year ridership reached a 28-year high,” said COTA President & CEO Curtis Stitt. “Members of this community are positively responding to our system improvements and more people are using public transportation. I am excited about the prospect of reaching our goal of 20 million trips this year.”

Ridership in 2014 was up 3% over 2013, with a grand total of 19.3 million rides taken on buses. 2014 saw the launch of new COTA services including the free-to-ride Downtown CBUS Circulator (which logged over 348,000 trips in 2014) and a new reverse-commute service from Downtown to the New Albany Business Park. Additionally, new shelters were installed and service hours were added to most major routes in the system, allowing buses to run more frequently.

Representatives at COTA announced last summer that complete redesign of the system is being considered to update public transit services to better reflect our rapidly growing city.

The uptick in public transit usage in Columbus mirrors national trends. In 2013, national transit ridership reached a sixty-year high.

“There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities,”said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy in a release last March. ”People in record numbers are demanding more public transit services and communities are benefiting with strong economic growth.”

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