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COTA Ridership at Highest Level Since 2004

Walker Evans Walker Evans COTA Ridership at Highest Level Since 2004Photo by Walker Evans.
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More and more people are riding COTA this year, thanks in part to the new CBUS Circulator route that launched in May. The Central Ohio Transit Authority announced today that monthly ridership totals hit 1.8 million in both September and October, which is the highest monthly level since January 2004. Additionally, year-to-date ridership is up 2.7% over 2013.

“We’re pleased that our ridership is growing,” said Curtis Stitt, President and CEO of COTA. “We attribute this growth to the popularity of the CBUS, and the work our staff has done to continually increase the reliability and convenience of our service.”

The CBUS is a free-to-ride shuttle loop that connects The Short North, Downtown, Arena District, German Village, Brewery District and other points in between. Since its debut on May 5th, the CBUS has logged over 300,000 trips, which surpass the initial projected ridership of the service. The popularity of the CBUS is also noteworthy as the circulator has some competitive overlap in service when compared to other new alternatives such as car2go, COGO Bike Share, Lyft, Uber and others.

“Having a variety of options definitely helps both the CBUS and COTA as a whole,” said Lisa Knapp, Public/Media Relations Manager at COTA. “We feel that these options makes it easier for people to choose not to use their car. All ships rise together, and these services all compliment each other really well.” 

COTA began a service expansion program in 2007, which adds service to new and existing routes by 10 percent annually. That includes increasing the frequency of buses and expanding hours of service later on both weeknights and weekends.

In related news, it was announced last week that the CBUS Circulator would remain free-to-ride until at least May 2015.

“We see the CBUS as being a gateway to all of our service,” added Knapp. “More people are saying that they’re more comfortable riding the bus after trying the CBUS. It gives them a level of familiarity, and that translates into more ridership across all routes.”

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