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COTA Ridership Up Significantly in 2008

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Press Release:
COTA’s Growth Outpaces Transit Agencies in Ohio and Nationally

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) provided over 16.4 million passenger trips in 2008, an increase of nearly 10 percent over 2007.  On an average weekday, 57,000 passenger trips are taken on COTA.

Nationally, public transit ridership was up 4 percent in 2008 according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) on Monday.  Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation last year, the highest level of ridership in 52 years.

COTA’s ridership increase was among the highest among comparable transit authorities.  Along with volatile fuel prices, COTA’s ongoing service expansion program and the upgrading of its bus fleet are making transit a convenient and economical option for central Ohio residents.

“We are pleased to welcome more customers to COTA,” said Bill Lhota, President/CEO.  “Fortunately we are able to accommodate the higher demand for transit by adding more service and new routes.”

COTA is expanding service by 60,000 hours annually by adding service to its busiest routes, introducing service to new destinations and adding new express routes. The Authority is acquiring 40 new coaches annually, adding Park & Ride locations, investing in the renovation of its fixed-route bus facilities, and constructing a new facility for Mainstream, its demand response service for people with disabilities.

The increases in 2008 are continuing in 2009.  For the week ending March 1, COTA ridership was up 7.6 percent over the same week a year ago.  Year-to-date ridership is up 4.5 percent.

“The fact that our ridership continues to grow indicates that commuters are realizing significant savings by opting for public transit over driving,” Lhota said.  “Our challenge is to continue expanding the system while maintaining a high level of customer service.”

To see the complete APTA ridership report go to http://www.apta.com/research/stats/ridership

For more information about COTA, log on to www.cota.com or call (614) 228-1776.

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