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.

Paying for Rail

Posted by Columbus Transit On 8:35 PM
Today, the Dispatch announced Ohio's plan for how to fund the operation of an initial, 79 mph 3-C rail corridor. According to the article, the yearly operating budget will come from fees that restaurants and businesses pay to have their logo on the blue highway signs that mark off-ramps along the road system. The roughly $10 million raised each year should cover the costs. What that money is currently going towards is not discussed in the article.

The article went on to discuss Ohio's application for a high-speed rail line as part of a greater Chicago network. The entire network would expand from Cleveland to Kansas. Ohio's estimates claim that $1.53 billion would be needed for the construction of the line and purchase of vehicles. The line could be up-and-running as soon as 2016. The plan does face competition from California and New England plans. While other possible rail lines are shown in the White House's vision (at right), the Chicago hub, the California line, and the New England line look to be the most promising. The White House has committed $8 billion dollars in its economic stimulus bill towards high speed rail. Let's hope we see a chunk of that.

1 Response to "Paying for Rail"

  1. Bart Said,

    Take all these estimated costs to build and operate rail, and multiply them by at least of factor of 2, and you get a sense of what the true costs will actually be.

    Charolette for example, estimated their first light rail line costs to be $250 million. Final tab was well over $500 million.

    Don't be fooled by these estimates.

    And for a stste facing a $2 billion plus deficit, I wouldn't get too excited about riding a train anytime soon.


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