City Wants High-Tech Traffic Control

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 28 - 2010

The City of Columbus wants to invest $36.8 million to purchase a high-tech system that would give traffic controllers direct access to coordinate traffic lights across the city. When traffic backs up because of an accident, congestion, or re-routing, traffic controllers could change lights with a flick of a switch to get cars moving more quickly through intersections.

COTA Offices Move Downtown

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 28 - 2010

The Central Ohio Transit Authority moved its headquarters downtown recently into the newly remodeled building at 33 North High Street. The $13.6 million renovation of the 10-story downtown building includes a new customer-service counter where passengers can purchase tickets and extensive green features such as energy-saving lighting. COTA is in the process of applying for LEED Certification for the renovation. COTA will utilize seven of the 10 stories and will rent the other three out. Notably, the building does not include parking as COTA employees are expected to utilize the bus.

YPCOTA Kicks Off

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 17 - 2010

Young Professionals Columbus and COTA have teamed up to encourage 'social transit' through a month-long initiative combining transit with social networking.

New Parking Meter Rates Coming

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 17 - 2010

Crews are changing the parking meter prices and times on meters in the downtown and Short North area, as well as adding 400 new parking meters to previously free spaces. The changes come after a long debate about how best to up rates to help pay for the construction of a new convention center hotel. The original rate change, pulled from the funding plan for the shelved Columbus Streetcar initiative, upset business owners in the up-and-coming Gay Street area and downtown. A commission revised the plan which was approved and is now being implemented.

Switching to Transit: Columbus Case Study

Posted by Columbus Transit On 9:07 PM
When expanding service or implementing new mass transit options, the question of “will people ride?” plays an important role. Especially given the time and money that go into rail transit, these questions need to be asked before construction begins; however there are strategies for mass transit that can boost ridership. This article, published in the Journal of Public Transportation, utilizes Columbus, Ohio as a case study for public transportation as a means to commute to work. The article both reinforces some already well-known facts about mass transit use and draws some interesting new conclusions.

The study questioned employees at the downtown headquarters of a major corporation in Columbus. All of the employees surveyed commuted by car to work. When asked, the largest considerations in choosing which type of transportation to utilize for their commute depended on the following factors: flexibility, cost, and time. The subjects also responded by saying that as cost increased significantly, flexibility and time decreased in importance. The survey also claims that environmental concerns, congestion, and sprawl are often not concrete enough negatives to convince people to switch to transit because they are not pressing.

Some interesting factors coming from the survey included the idea that in all three groups of respondents (those concerned about flexibility, cost, and time), all said they would be most likely to switch to mass transportation if a light rail system were installed in Columbus. In addition, the survey claims that employers play a major role in affecting how employees commute to work. If companies provide concrete information about commuting, ridership is affected positively.

In concluding, the author gave two suggestions to improve transit ridership: a public-private partnership should be established to help subsidize mass transit to increase frequency and improve infrstructure, and this partnership should work to provide focused, concrete information about the closest routes to the office using public transportation.

Interesting stuff. CBT will continue to dissect this information and exactly what it means for Columbus transit in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!

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