COTA is a top transit system in North America

The Central Ohio Transit Authority received the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award in August 2018, recognizing COTA as a “best of the best” operation among transit organizations in North America.

The award is made annually by the American Public Transportation Association. COTA received the award in the category for systems with an annual ridership of more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips. In 2017, COTA had 18.7 million passenger trips. More about this year’s honorees can be found here.

Here’s a video where the leaders of Columbus’ other top-ranked institutions congratulate COTA on its award:

Notable achievements from COTA’s nomination

  • Operations – COTA is among a select group of agencies across the country that have implemented a comprehensive system redesign.
  • Innovation – COTA launched 4G Wi-Fi access for riders across its entire fleet; installed new fareboxes  that position the authority to accept mobile payment in the future; and introduced real-time bus tracking technology for riders.
  • Sustainability – The authority is transitioning its fleet to compressed natural gas to reduce its environmental footprint. The transition saved COTA $9.3 million in fuel costs from 2015 to 2017. COTA is on track to be diesel-free by 2025.
  • Safety – In 2016, COTA was among only 13 rail and mass transit agencies in the U.S. to earn the Transportation Security Administration’s highest “Gold Standard” rating following a voluntary comprehensive review of its security plans, training, drills, exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs.

Praise from industry and community leaders

“I congratulate Central Ohio Transportation Authority for winning APTA’s top public transit system award in North America for medium sized systems. COTA’s many achievements and its vision for greater mobility in the Columbus region are helping redefine public transportation as the backbone of an increasingly interconnected, multi-modal transportation network.”

–APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas

“The Central Ohio Transit Authority is a tremendous partner to Columbus. It is a nimble, innovative organization that implemented a seamless transit system redesign and cutting-edge technology to riders. Mobility is a great equalizer, offering residents access to job centers, schools and health care. COTA is crucial to our neighborhoods, our economic vitality and our future.”

–Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther