Through input from the public, stakeholders and the Board of Trustees, the new network was developed. Prior to the implementation of any changes, COTA sought public input to hear from our customers.
The Transit System Redesign features simplified routes, increased frequency, connections to more places, and reduced bus congestion downtown.
COTA’s new network has twice as many high-frequency bus routes that arrive every 15 minutes or better on major streets. These simple, frequent, easy-to-understand routes form the backbone of the new system. Routes also now operate on more consistent schedules seven days a week.
Other transit agencies throughout the country are considering and embarking on network overhauls in order to
improve efficiency and reliability.
COTA is among a select group of agencies to achieve such an ambitious undertaking. Representatives from
the Maryland Transit Administration and Rochester Regional Transit Service visited COTA to observe the TSR in preparation for redesigns in their respective cities. COTA also shared information with officials in Boston, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
Educating Customers and Stakeholders
COTA planned and executed a robust TSR customer and stakeholder outreach campaign. Signage at every bus stop notified customers of the upcoming changes. Staff visited elected officials, area commissions, neighborhood
leaders and community groups to share information about the new network. Public meetings were held to help riders learn how their routes would change.
A strategic marketing campaign informed the community of the changes. COTA’s trip planner at COTA.com allowed customers to compare old and new routes. A street team of more than 80 COTA staff members assisted riders in the weeks surrounding the launch.
On May 1, COTA unveiled more than 3,000 bus stops and newly-designed wayfinding.
To celebrate the new network, ease the transition for current COTA customers, and encourage riders to try the new system, COTA offered riders free service May 1-7.
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