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COTA Board of Trustees Extends Free CBUS Fares for Additional Year

04/22/2015

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Task Force to be Established to Explore Sustainable CBUS Funding Sources
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Today the Board of Trustees of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) voted to
extend free fares on the CBUS®
through May 1, 2016.
Since its inception on May 5, 2014, the CBUS, Columbus’ Downtown Circulator, has provided smart,
convenient, user-friendly service to residents, employers and visitors in the downtown area. Current ridership
exceeds 490,000 trips and will surpass 500,000 by its first anniversary. Free passenger fares contributed
significantly to that ridership success. COTA launched CBUS with the endorsement of its Board of Trustees to
support public and private sector efforts to attract development, new businesses, residents and visitors to the
bourgeoning core of the city.
Financial commitments from several organizations in the downtown area are making possible the continuation
of CBUS with free fares. Pledges to date total $133,000, which exceeds COTA’s target of $130,000 and is half
of the $260,000 goal. A number of additional pledges are expected to be finalized within the next few weeks.
In addition to securing this one-year funding, COTA and the CBUS funding partners will establish a task force
to identify and implement sources of sustainable revenue to provide funding to support CBUS operations on a
continuing basis.
“COTA’s goals are aligned with the goals of this community, and the CBUS is a perfect example of this
alignment,” said Curtis Stitt, COTA President/CEO. “Maintaining free fares makes it easy for visitors to use the
service, and encourages frequent trips between Downtown, the Short North and the Brewery District, while
spurring economic activity.”
“We know that the ability to easily get around the city is vital to a positive visitor experience, so we’re very
pleased that the CBUS Circulator will remain free,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO.
“The circulator is a tremendous asset to our residents and the more than 37.6 million visitors who come to
Columbus each year for leisure trips, conventions, meetings and sporting events.”
Ross spoke in favor of the free fare resolution today at the COTA Board of Trustees meeting.

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