COTA Board Approves Downtown Employee Transit Program
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees approved COTA’s participation in an innovative Downtown employee transit access program on Feb. 28. Known as CPASS, the program was conceived by the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (SID) in partnership with SID property owners, employers, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and COTA.Over 31 months, COTA will be paid a minimum fee of $4.5 million to offer 45,000 eligible downtown workers access to COTA service. The fee will be paid by $1.3 million in self-assessments by SID property owners, $2.8 million from MORPC and $400,000 from other contributors.
The program begins June 1, 2018.
“We are thrilled to move forward with this innovative approach to boosting ridership,” said COTA Interim President/CEO Emille Williams. “This program also has great potential to promote economic development in our vibrant downtown.”
Williams attended an American Public Transportation Association conference recently, where CPASS was hailed as a forward-thinking program by transit system executives from around the country.
The effort represents the first time property owners have assessed themselves to pay for transit access, according to Capital Crossroads research.
The innovative program will complement the revitalization of Downtown Columbus most notably by reducing demand for parking and reducing office vacancy rates.
“Economic development depends upon having a healthy and well-used transit system,” said Cleve Ricksecker, Capital Crossroads executive director.