East Main Street is already one of the highest ridership transit corridors in Central Ohio, connecting key destinations, neighborhoods and job centers.

With 3.14 million residents expected in our region by 2050, now is the time to reimagine how to sustainably and equitably move more people faster, safer and smarter.

Upgrading the East Main Street corridor to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will equitably and sustainably increase access to jobs, businesses, schools and healthcare for all members of the community, including seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, students and working families, making Central Ohio a more affordable and equitable community.

It's part of a multi-corridor vision to link us all together.

Neighborhoods include:

  • Downtown Columbus
  • Olde Towne East/Near East Side
  • Bexley
  • Mideast/Eastmoor
  • Whitehall
  • Far East
  • Reynoldsburg

The East Main BRT project would also increase access to key community resources, many within walking distance of the corridor, including:

  • 2 hospitals
  • 24 grocery stores
  • 17 K-12 schools
  • 23 daycare facilities
  • 15 pharmacies
  • 8 addiction treatment facilities

What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

Bus Rapid Transit, commonly known as BRT, is a high-quality, bus-based transportation system that is designed to deliver fast, cost-effective and comfortable services to meet the needs of metro areas. By providing dedicated lanes specifically for rapid transit — most often at the center of road — it is more reliable and convenient than traditional bus systems.

What would Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) upgrades mean
for East Main Street?

  • Larger, zero-emission transit vehicles that comfortably fit more people
  • Improved transit travel speed and reliability
  • Improved passenger waiting areas at modern stations

Community Inspired Station Designs

After meeting with residents earlier in 2022, our project team released the first station design concepts in December 2022. More than 100 community members joined the project team via Zoom and Facebook Live to get a first look at concepts for transit stations and mobility updates along LinkUS corridors. New stations along the LinkUS corridors will enhance the rapid transit experience for our residents and visitors.

8
The number of miles that BRT will operate in on a dedicated guideway, switching to mixed traffic in Bexley and east of Haft Drive in Reynoldsburg.
19
The number of stations that are planned along the route. The exact placement of these facilities will be coordinated with the local community during the design phase.
100,000
The number of jobs and economic opportunities BRT can connect people to within the half-mile radius of the BRT stations.
64%
The percentage of East Main Street residents who live in an area of persistent poverty. BRT aims to connect the community to jobs, healthcare, education and other resources.

Project Timeline & History

Next Phase

30% design is now complete and project staff are proceeding toward 60% through 2024 with a goal of 100% design in 2026 and construction from 2027-2029. There are multiple concurrent planning efforts underway within downtown Columbus that require coordination between the City of Columbus, COTA, MORPC and downtown stakeholders. We envision integrated rapid transit that gives residents access to jobs, education, thriving business communities and the city’s vibrant culture. With nearly 3.14 million residents expected in our region by 2050, now is the time to reimagine how we can move faster, safer and smarter.

2021

In July 2021, the COTA Board of Trustees adopted three Locally Preferred Alternatives (LPAs), voting to move the East Main Street and West Broad Street BRT Corridors into the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program process. Learn more about the East Main LPA here. LinkUS gained insights from the community and made initial plans for the project.

The LinkUS public engagement process supports the technical analysis of these projects through stakeholder and public engagement to gather feedback and insight from the community. These community insights are used to help develop a 30% design for the East Main and West Broad Street BRT Corridors.

2022

Our project team met with hundreds of residents to learn more about what enhancements to mobility and transit can look like in central Ohio neighborhoods. From virtual meetings to community festivals and a bike-a-long event, LinkUS reached more than 10,000 residents and businesses to spread the word about the West Broad and East Main Street BRT Corridors.

The East Main Street BRT Corridor was accepted into the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, which is the main federal funding source for large transit projects.

2023-2024

30% design is now complete and project staff are proceeding toward 60% through 2024. Project staff are planning for business meetings, community events and pop-ups this summer in your community to share the latest project updates. Keep an eye out for upcoming East Main engagement opportunities in 2024 by signing up for the LinkUS newsletter >

Get Connected to LinkUS

If your organization would like to have a one-on-one conversation about the East Main Street BRT Corridor, please let us know at info@linkuscolumbus.com.