Transit Benefits

Changing demographics and transportation preferences coupled with a need to address significant growth in central Ohio requires a renewed look at how transit service can serve the region's residents, employees and visitors. The benefits of NextGen extend beyond improving transit service to a multitude of community goals.

Transit supports our growing population and economy:

Central Ohio is the fastest growing region in the Midwest and among the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. By 2050, central Ohio is projected to grow by more than 500,000 people and 300,000 jobs. With a growing population and economy, the region depends on efficient, reliable and affordable transportation choices. Expanded transit service is needed particularly during times of peak travel to maintain competitive commute times, retain and attract businesses, and support the efficient movement of freight.

Transit reduces congestion:

Congestion in central Ohio is projected to increase significantly in the coming decades. By providing direct and efficient transit service, we can reduce the number of vehicles on our limited road space by moving more people more efficiently - a strategy that will well serve the growing region.

Transit supports changing transportation preferences:

The Millennial generation (those born between 1977 and 2003) and seniors expect new and diverse shared mobility options. Millennials and other generations value transit because it allows them the luxury of working while in transit, staying connected with peers, and relieving the stresses of driving.

Millennials are Traveling Differently

Source: Toward 2020 and Beyond. Ohio Department of Aging Annual Report, 2013.

Transit accommodates an aging population of Baby Boomers:

Baby Boomers are reaching retirement. Ohio ranks in the top third for senior growth rates in the U.S. By 2030, the state's population of older adults is expected to grow 30 percent. These older adults will require safe and affordable transit options to stay active and engaged in their communities and access daily services and medical appointments.

Source: Columbus Ohio Metropolitan Area Trends, Preferences and Opportunities, January 2014

Transit provides an affordable transportation option:

Residents in central Ohio spend over 25 percent of household income on transportation. Despite relatively affordable home prices, central Ohio is in the top 40 regions in the country for the highest annual transportation costs. Transit provides an affordable transportation option for those who depend on public transportation and those who choose to ride it. 

Annual Cost Comparison of Biking, Taking Transit, and Driving

Sources: (1) Biking: The American League of American Bicyclists and the Sierra Club. "The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity." (2) Transit: Uses The COTA cost of a monthly transit pass (times 12 months) (3) Driving: American Automobile Association. "Your Driving Costs." 2013.

Transit keeps us healthy:

Obesity is a rising epidemic nationally and in Ohio. Over 30 percent of adults in Ohio are obese, according to a national study. This number is expected to nearly double by 2030. Transit promotes healthy living and helps to reduce public health costs. On average, transit riders walk 19 minutes a day to get to and from transit stops.

Source: Besser, Lilah and Andrew Dannenberg. "Walking to Public Transit: Steps to Help Meet Physical Activity Requirements." American Journal of Preventive Medicine 29:4 (2005): 273-80.