Changes Come in January, May and September
In order to adapt to increasing demand and ongoing infrastructure improvements in Central Ohio, COTA makes changes to our service three times a year on the first Monday in January, May and September. Two rounds of public meetings are held before every change to ensure our customers have ample opportunity to comment and adapt to these changes.
The first round of public comment meetings, are held 3-4 months before a service change takes place to inform the public on what changes are being considered, and gather comments to help make decisions. The second round of public information meetings, are held one month before a service change takes place to educate the community on what changes will be made on the first Monday of the following month.
COTA posts commuter bulletins at bus stops affected by a service change. Commuter bulletins describe the proposed change, may include maps, and tell you how to give your feedback to COTA.
Two public comment meetings will take place regarding proposed COTA service adjustments that will become effective Monday, May 7, 2018.
Thursday, January 18 at 6 p.m.
Thursday, January 25 at 12 p.m. (noon)
Meetings will be held in the William G. Porter Boardroom at 33 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.
Service Change Policy
- COTA will gather input continually from the community through telephone conversations, letters, e-mails, and regularly scheduled Community Outreach meetings. In addition, COTA may survey its users and employers/employees who have requested some modification to the transit service.
- Prior to finalizing any service change, COTA will conduct Community Outreach meetings in areas which will be most directly affected by the change. When a proposed change would eliminate a route or significantly reduce the span of service or frequency of service along a route, COTA will actively solicit and consider input from the affected area through neighborhood meetings and/or on-board surveys. A significant reduction in the span of service on a route is defined as the elimination of a time period (such as, midday service) or weekend service. A significant reduction in the frequency of service on a route is defined as a 100% increase or more in the headway of the route. A major service reduction is defined as a decrease in annualized service hours by more than 25% on a route.
- A minimum of four public meetings are held to solicit community input regarding potential service modifications. Two meetings are held approximately four months prior to the service change implementation date in order to encourage public feedback in a timely manner that facilitates potential modifications to the proposed service changes. A second set of two community outreach meetings are held to present the final list of modifications. A minimum of two meetings are held within a Title VI area.
- In the month prior to each service change, the modifications are presented to the full Board of Trustees for their information. Such meetings are open to the public.
- Bi-annually, COTA prepares an update to the schedule of service improvements for the next five years which will be included in the Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP). The service changes in the SRTP are then disseminated for discussion with MORPC’s Citizens Advisory, Transportation Advisory, and Policy committees.
This information is also shared with the COTA Advisory Panel (consisting of representatives from various local municipalities) and the COTA Board of Trustees.
COTA disseminates information and solicits feedback on service options in a variety of ways as outlined below:
- Commuter bulletins posted at bus stops affected by a service modification. Bulletins posted at bus stops include a description of the proposed modification, maps (if applicable), and instructions regarding how to provide feedback to COTA about the proposed changes. Commuter bulletins are also posted on COTA buses which indicate the routes that will be affected.
- Press releases identifying specific routes affected are forwarded to various media: newspaper, radio and TV stations.
- A Service Change Booklet describing each change is posted on COTA’s website.
- COTA operators pass out new public timetables on affected routes.
- Handouts describing the changes are passed out at the downtown express terminals and/or on selected trips, at the discretion of COTA.