Groveport considers transportation options to bring more workers to city businesses

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

City officials say businesses in Groveport’s industrial parks are thriving so much that the companies are having difficulty finding enough employees to fill their needs.

“When Eddie Bauer opened here they had 400 employees,” said Groveport Assistant City Administrator Jeff Green. “Now they have 1,000 full time employees and need an additional 2,000 workers this time of year. And that’s just one company. The Gap has 1,500 employees and they need 2,500 this time of year.”

Green said one problem with potential employees being able to come to work in Groveport’s industrial parks is that the city’s transportation needs are “seriously underserved” by the regional COTA bus system.

“There are people getting off the bus at the COTA bus stop on Homer Ohio Lane and then having to walk all the way down State Route 317 to get to work (to the Groveport Commerce Center and other industrial parks),” said Green, who added workers also have to walk down Groveport Road from an Alum Creek Drive COTA bus stop to reach their workplaces.

He said these are the closest active bus stops in the city to the industrial parks.

Green said the city “needs to have a conversation with COTA” about the lack of bus service to Groveport.

“It’s starting to reach critical mass,” said Green, who said city officials fear the city could lose some large employers to areas with better transportation services and with higher unemployment rates that would make more potential employees available to their businesses.

“These businesses bring in 95 percent of our income tax revenue,” said Green. “We have to find a way to merge economic development with transportation.”

One idea Green floated to Groveport City Council was for the city to consider creating its own circulator bus route with its own bus that could bring workers to the industrial parks from the distant COTA bus stops.

“If the regional transportation effort doesn’t work for us, then we have to look at our own borders and support our businesses,” said Green. “We need to find a way for employees to reach our businesses and we need a link to COTA to bring them in.”

Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said the regional transportation has “bogged down.”
“We need to take the bull by the horns and address it ourselves,” said Hall, who added having thriving businesses looking to hire more employees is “a nice problem for the city to have.”

“What better way to attract more businesses than to show them we can provide them services,” said Hall.

“It’s a whole new way of looking at economic development,” added Green.

Council will review the transportation options and discuss them at upcoming council meetings.

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  1. Bogged Down Ms. Hall? Maybe if Groveport and Obetz would have made your precious developers help pay to build adequate infrastructure you wouldn’t be in the position you are in now. All that tax money coming from the warehouses and not the first penny goes to the only infrastructure the “tax paying workers” care about…the road on which they travel to get to work.


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