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.

Governors Converge to Discuss High-Speed Rail

Posted by Columbus Transit On 1:52 PM
With $8 billion in high speed rail funds on the line, Governors from across the Midwest are converging on Chicago to lobby for the proposed Midwest high speed rail network. The network, centering around Chicago, would include Columbus and the 3-C rail line. Ohio's Governor Ted Strickland is in attendance, boosting Ohio's profile as it lobbies for the funds; however, there is stiff competition from cities and states around the country. Nearly $102 billion dollars worth of proposals from 40 states have been submitted, with only $8 billion to give out. The Midwest plan does have some advantages: it includes several states working together (as opposed to the California plan) and this meeting should yield a Midwest high speed rail spokesperson (something Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been advocating). In his own words, “We’re going to consider proposals that are serious, proposals that have (some) kind of intermodality, a multistate regional approach, and even those that aren’t far along will be considered,” Mr. LaHood said. Even if all $8 billion was given out to the Midwest plan though, the entire vision may not be initially built. According to some reports, Ohio's portion of the network alone could total more than a billion dollars.

Ohio does have some things going for it. Ohio has been particularly hard-hit by the recession and should be a priority for stimulus dollars. Our Governor is fully on-board, attending the conference himself. And Ohio is a dense state with multiple urban centers meaning the rail line here would be able to serve more people. As events unfold, check out CBT for updates, and see the original stories from the Dispatch.

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