State policy agenda – COTA

State policy agenda

State 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 state 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 state legislation, innovative funding mechanisms, programs and policies that support increased state investment in public transportation.  

  • Maintain the sales and use tax base, and encourage any legislation exempting a good or service to identify replacement funding.
  • Seek increased funding for transit agencies.
  • Seek funding for high-capacity transit projects and multimodal infrastructure.
  • Support increasing transportation dollars returned to localities and Metropolitan Planning Organizations.


Advance new transportation technologies and initiatives  that encourage transit and position Central Ohio as a leader in transportation innovation. 

  • Encourage ongoing engagement by ODOT in the Smart Columbus program.
  • Work with DriveOhio to ensure public transportation is a focus.
  • Promote policies, programs and funding for first mile/last mile solutions.
  • Pursue autonomous vehicle policies and regulations that support transit.


Advocate for state programs, policies and funding that spur economic development and create sustainable growth that will serve the region’s projected growth of up to 1 million people and 600,000 new jobs by 2050.

  • Support policies and incentives that encourage transit-oriented development in Central Ohio.
  • Promote land use regulations and planning tools for the preservation and redevelopment of urban buildings.
  • Advocate for grants to support alternative fuel and low- to no-emissions buses.
  • Seek support for employer transit pass programs.
  • Support tax benefits that incentivize transit use.
  • Collaborate with regional partners to enhance the national competitiveness of Central Ohio through multimodal transportation.


Encourage state legislation and policies that allow COTA to attract and retain the best and brightest and support a pipeline of skilled workers to satisfy our workforce needs.

  • Support technical education programs.
  • Advance job attraction incentives, tools and strategies in the transportation industry.
  • Coordinate workforce issues with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.


Promote a safe and secure environment for our customers and employees.

  • Support safe working conditions for employees.
  • Advocate for policies that ensure threats in public areas are resolved safely and expeditiously through agency coordination, information sharing and technology.

Here’s a printable version of this document.

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