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.

The World Cup and Columbus Transit

Posted by Columbus Transit On 11:02 AM
As the first city in the nation to build a stadium specifically for its professional soccer team, Columbus, Ohio could claim to be the birthplace of a reinvigorated American Major League Soccer establishment. Yesterday, when Business First announced that Columbus was on the radar to be the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup host city, it seemed only fitting for our status. According to Business First’s piece however, the decision of which of 37 possible host cities will be chosen will be based on “information from city officials about tourism, climate, security, transportation and promotion.” Some questions about Columbus’s transportation system must be raised. Will Columbus be able to step up to the plate to be the host city? With a massive influx of tourists, national and international, will Port Columbus and COTA be able to meet the demand?

These questions always need to be asked before major events are scheduled. As a transportation blog, CBT recognizes that Columbus does have some major transportation advantages over other cities:
  • A central, walk-able, safe, urban core
  • An abundance of highways as well as an inner and outer belt
  • A strong, expanding bus system

However, while Columbus has some positives, there are a few places where our transportation infrastructure might be an issue:

  • Lack of any rail options to get to the city or move around within the city
  • A small airport with few international flights

While this could be a hindrance in Columbus’s bid to be the host city, it could also serve as a massive boost for a proposed Central Ohio light rail system. This has been proven in the past. Prior to the 2004 Summer Olympics hosted by Athens, Greece, a flurry of transportation construction took place. In response to the large number of international tourists that would be attending the event, Athens constructed a brand new downtown tram line, and built and substantially upgraded its metro lines. These improvements took place as a direct result of Athens becoming the host city.

If Columbus were chosen as host city for one of the FIFA World Cup dates, we can hope that it would galvanize our efforts to see real improvements to our city's transportation infrastructure. With more than a decade until the event, Columbus could totally overhaul its rail network and place itself on the national and international radar. Our city officials should be fighting for this, and CBT will be here to watch.

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