Federal policy agenda – COTA

Federal policy agenda

Federal Public Policy Agenda 2018

Advocacy to propel the Columbus Region into the next era of public transit

The Central Ohio Transit Authority Federal Policy Agenda was crafted in partnership with the region’s transportation stakeholders and COTA’s Board of Trustees, who are appointed by constituent municipalities in the Columbus Region.

2050 is coming – let’s go

At the heart of COTA’s federal policy agenda is the recognition that Central Ohio and the Columbus Region are in a period of great change — demographics are shifting, new technologies are on the horizon, and the physical landscape is being remade as communities evolve. 

Public transportation is at the intersection of these dynamics. With the right policies in place, we can move Central Ohio into the future. 


Pursue federal appropriations, programs and policies that support increased federal investment in public transportation.

  • Maintain funding for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) at the authorized levels of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
  • Seek increased funding for the Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program and the Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant Program.
  • Maintain FAST Act levels of funding for the Capital Investment Grant program, which supports critical investments in public transportation and economic growth, including funding of the Columbus Region’s first bus rapid transit line, known as CMAX.
  • Support an increase in federal transportation dollars returned to localities and metropolitan planning organizations such as MORPC.
  • Support continued funding of the TIGER and FASTLANE programs for transit and multimodal connectivity.


Advance new technologies and initiatives that encourage transit and position the Columbus Region as a leader in transportation innovation.

  • Ensure ongoing engagement by USDOT and USDOE in the Smart City program in collaboration with Smart Columbus and its partners. Oppose any efforts to recapture previously obligated budget dollars. Ensure that future year funding is maintained.
  • Promote policies, programs and funding to create first mile/last mile opportunities for COTA and our communities.
  • Pursue autonomous vehicle policies and regulations that support the success of transit.
  • Support the designation of the Transportation Research Center as an official site for the USDOT Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds Pilot.


Advocate for federal programs, policies and funding that spur economic development and create sustainable growth that will serve the region’s projected growth of up to one million people and 600,000 new jobs by 2050.

  • Support policies and incentives that encourage transit-oriented development and reinvestment in Central Ohio’s neighborhoods and commercial districts.
  • Advocate for federal funding and grant programs to support alternative fuel buses and low-to-no emissions buses, such as compressed natural gas and electric buses.
  • Seeking federal support and funding for innovative employer transit pass programs, such as the Cpass program in downtown Columbus.
  • Maintain support for commuter tax benefits.
  • Collaborate with regional community and business partners to enhance the global competitiveness of Central Ohio through multimodal transportation efforts.

Here’s a printable version of this document.

Here’s COTA’s 2018 State Public Policy Agenda.