Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Winter has finally arrived in full force – and COTA is here for you. COTA presents a safer way to travel when roads are icy or covered in snow. Study after study has demonstrated that buses are safer than cars, especially in difficult weather conditions. According to a report by the American Public Transportation Association, commuters are 10 times safer using public transit than those who take cars to work.
Did you know that during a Level 2 or Level 3 snow emergency, just like we had on Jan. 20, all COTA buses are free so that you and your employees can still make it to work safely? That is important to you – and to the entire Columbus region. According to Planalytics, the snowstorm that hit the northeast in January 2018 eliminated $500 million of that region’s economy due to traffic delays and lost productivity. In the worst of weather, COTA helps to keep the fastest growing economy in the midwest moving.
COTA not only operates in the snow, we take it to another level and have been known to launch new services in the dead of winter just to serve our community better. Just a little more than a year ago – on New Year’s Day, 2018 – we debuted COTA CMAX, our first bus rapid transit route. Results from CMAX’s first year of operations show the service has been a phenomenal success. In 2017, we provided approximately 1.3 million rides along the Cleveland Avenue Corridor from downtown Columbus to the City of Westerville; with the addition of CMAX, that number grew by 17 percent to 1,554,060 in 2018. It is gratifying to see the payoff of these investments which were made to focus on neighborhood revitalization and economic development.
I hope 2019 is off to a great start for each of you. Stay warm – and remember our vehicles are always heated.
With warmest regards,
Joanna M. Pinkerton
18,913,789 Total Rides (+3%)
1,554,060 CMAX Rides (+17%)
692,221 CBUS Rides (+4%)
35,684 AirConnect Rides (+24%)
13,741 People Enrolled
*Employer funded pass program for downtown employees
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