Central Ohio’s first Bus Rapid Transit line is a step closer to reality
COLUMBUS—The Central Ohio Transit Authority’s (COTA) Cleveland Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
project, called CMAX, has received a recommendation for a Small Starts Grant Agreement. President Obama’s
Federal Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends funding the project in
the amount of $38 million or 80% of the estimated $47.7 million project budget.
The regional office of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) contacted COTA to offer congratulations on
reaching this milestone in the effort to introduce a new mode of public transportation to central Ohio. The
CMAX project, currently in the final design phase, is projected to begin operations in May 2017.
The Department of Transportation portion of the budget can be found here, with COTA’s project listed on page
About the CMAX
CMAX, the first BRT line in central Ohio, will transport riders between downtown Columbus north on Cleveland
Avenue with its terminus at Polaris Parkway/Africa Road. The project includes high-frequency, limited stop
service between downtown Columbus and SR-161 (10.3 mi.) and Enhanced Local Bus Service between SR161
and Polaris. New CNG branded buses, passenger shelters and improved pedestrian amenities will be
incorporated in the station stops. Project benefits include an estimated 21 percent travel time savings, and a
projected 15-20 percent increase in ridership in the first five years of operation.