Our Transportation Needs Are Growing

As our region grows, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is looking at how to use and improve existing infrastructure to move more people faster, safer and more sustainably. From service increases to constructing Bus Rapid Transit, we’re investing in transit that gets people to their destinations affordably and efficiently.

Increasing COTA Service Across Central Ohio

Our plans include increasing transit service across COTA’s footprint. In fact, we’re looking at nearly doubling service. Through LinkUS, Central Ohio will see a 45% increase in COTA service, improving frequency and creating new transit hubs and Park and Rides.

Creating and Improving Sidewalks, Bikeways and Trails

Public transportation is about more than buses. Part of transit is connecting people to and from transportation hubs. COTA’s transit improvement investment goes beyond vehicles to create more local infrastructure like bikeways, greenways, sidewalks and trails that not only improve connection to COTA stops across the region, but make it easier to walk and bike in your community.

Creating More Affordable On-Demand Rideshare Options

Have you heard of COTA//Plus? This on-demand transportation service gives customers the ability to request affordable, on-demand rides within designated zones in Grove City, Westerville and the South Side. Through LinkUS, COTA will create even more of these zones so more communities can access flexible and affordable transit options.

Bringing Bus Rapid Transit to Our Region

What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)? BRT is high capacity with premium features and amenities. Bus Rapid Transit, commonly known as BRT, is a premium transit solution designed to move more people through larger vehicles, enhanced technology and increased frequency. By providing dedicated lanes specifically for rapid transit — most often in the center of the road — it is more reliable and convenient than traditional bus systems.

What would BRT upgrades mean for LinkUS’ identified corridors?

Bus Rapid Transit, commonly known as BRT, is a premium transit solution designed to move more people through larger vehicles, enhanced technology and increased frequency. By providing dedicated lanes specifically for rapid transit — most often in the center of the road — it is more reliable and convenient than traditional bus systems.

What would Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) upgrades mean for these corridors?

  • Level-boarding and multi-door boarding makes loading and unloading quicker and easier, particularly for people with disabilities, caretakers with strollers and people who use mobility aids.
  • Off-board fare collection also supports a quicker loading process by not having people pay while boarding.
  • Dedicated transit lanes provide transit-only space, allowing buses to operate free of other traffic.
  • Signal priority and intersection control allows traffic signals to give BRT priority.
  • BRT provides more frequency and higher capacity vehicles to reduce wait times and provide more space for riders.
  • Larger, zero-emission transit vehicles support environmental and sustainability goals.
  • Larger, improved stations provide a better passenger experience.
WHAT IS BRT?

What is a Corridor?

“Corridors” are rapid transit lines that link neighborhoods or residential areas to one another, connecting residents to key destinations like job centers or healthcare. Through extensive research, we’ve identified which corridors are best suited for a wide range of enhancements, like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and increased trail connections.

Explore Corridor Research

Micromobility Hubs

Micromobility hubs — dedicated areas that bring together public transit, bike share and other forms of microtransit in one convenient location — have been designed for placement near some stations along West Broad. These hubs offer benefits like:

  • Managing congestion by making alternative transportation modes more available
  • Improving environmental sustainability by encouraging eco-friendly transportation
  • Enhancing accessibility for residents
  • Providing essential first- and last-mile connectivity, increasing public transit accessibility for those who do not live within walking distance of stations
  • Offering a cost-effective alternative to car ownershipThese hubs play a pivotal role in creating sustainable, accessible and vibrant communities.
Explore Corridor Research

The first three corridors in progress are the Northwest, East Main and West Broad corridors. Beyond this first batch of corridors, LinkUS also encompasses plans for a number of future corridors to help increase connectivity, affordability and opportunity throughout the entire Central Ohio region. These LinkUS corridors are based on years of intentional research, including:

insight 2050 (2014)

Led by MORPC and in partnership with member communities, ULI Columbus and other agencies, this effort considered various alternative growth patterns for the region. The outcome was a focused growth strategy that aimed to balance and accommodate growth in a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable manner.

NextGen (2017)

COTA undertook the NextGen planning process to consider and evaluate 26 potential transit corridors. These were narrowed down to 14 corridors, which were studied more closely using themes of connectivity, equity, building on current successes and sustainability.

insight2050 Corridor Concepts (2019)

insight2050 Corridor Concepts built on the NextGen work by taking a more detailed look at five specific corridors. The goal was to provide a demonstration of how more transportation choice and strategic development along each corridor could create more efficient and affordable options for working, commuting and living in the region.

Learn More