By Linda Dillman
Easier access to public transportation is the goal of COTA’s May 1 rollout of its Transit System Redesign (TSR).
The TSR is a comprehensive realignment of the transit authority’s network to provide simpler, more convenient service connecting riders with work, downtown, entertainment, shopping, school and home.
Routes throughout the COTA network were simplified, with more direct routes, along with more connections to destinations. Under the old network, frequent, consistent service was provided during the work week. Now, better access to destinations is provided seven days a week.
For riders using the bus system within the Rickenbacker corridor, revamped routes are translating into more peak time opportunities and increased access to work at warehouses ringing the area.
“After years of planning, we are now launching a redesigned network,” said Joshua Sikich, Transit System Redesign Project Manager, during a presentation at the April 19 the Madison Township trustees meeting. “We’re more than doubling the size of the frequent network, which comprise over 40 percent of COTA riders. On Saturday, we’re increasing service by 50 percent and on Sunday more than doubling the service.”
Sikich said more than 100,000 more jobs will be accessed by the frequent network and the authority is also increasing its Mainstream door-to-door service for people unable to ride on regular route buses.
“One of the key things with a comprehensive design is to wipe the slate clean in providing the best service to our riders,” said Sikich.
As a result, riders using the number 81 bus service south to its terminus in the Spiegel Drive area will now ride number 22. Bus number 4 will also provide service along the same southerly route into the Rickenbacker area.
The number 52 bus service will provide rush hour service from Canal Winchester during peak times from Gender Road up U.S. Route 33. Another peak time service, number 24, runs along South Hamilton Road to Groveport Road and into the warehouses north of London-Groveport Road.
“An informational sign is at every one of our bus stops,” Sikich said. “Presently, new signs to be unveiled on May 1 are covered by a temporary plastic hood indicating current service. We’re also providing information inside the buses. On the big day—May 1—through May 7, we’ll have free fares. This gives people the chance to learn the new routes.”
Mike Bradley, COTA’s vice president of planning, said a Park and Ride with approximately 160 parking spaces planned for Canal Winchester along Gender Road near U.S. Route 33 is in the design stages. He anticipates the project going out for bid sometime this year.
For information on COTA’s new system and routes, call (614) 308-4400, email email@example.com or visit COTA.com/tsr.