Groveport/Rickenbacker shuttle bus service is now a reality


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The Groveport-Rickenbacker Employee Access Transit (GREAT) shuttle service is now in operation.

The city of Groveport launched GREAT on Sept. 28 in partnership with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and the village of Obetz.

The service is designed to ease area mass transit issues and bring employees to work in the city’s industrial parks. It augments recently-expanded COTA bus service in the Rickenbacker area and provides last-mile service for employees to businesses located within Groveport and Obetz.

“This service has long been needed,” said Bob Dowler, Groveport transportation director. “As the Rickenbacker area continues to grow and develop, the demand and the competition for workforce has been increasing. At the same time, more employees are seeking a greater number of transportation options.”

The city established GREAT in response to area businesses’ difficulties in finding enough employees. Some potential employees are unable to work in Groveport’s industrial parks because the city’s transportation needs were underserved by the COTA bus system. City officials said they did not want to lose large employers due to a lack of workers.

“Losing these employers would be detrimental to the city’s financial stability,” said Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall.

According to city officials, businesses in the city’s industrial parks bring in 95 percent of the city’s income tax revenue.

Hall said the shuttle service will allow employers to hire and retain that portion of their employees who need or choose to use public transportation.

“There are currently estimated to be approximately 10,000 jobs in the Groveport Rickenbacker area. During peak season, I would estimate around 1,500 to 2,000 people benefitting from the program. On the average, we’re estimating at least 600,” said Jeff Green, Groveport finance director/assistant city administrator.

GREAT service connects to COTA’s Line 81 on Alum Creek Drive and will consist of three separate routes: Blue, Green and Red. The Blue and Green routes primarily serves businesses in Groveport, originating at the COTA stop on London-Groveport Road and Alum Creek Drive. The Red route services businesses located in Obetz, originating at the COTA stop at Creekside Parkway and Alum Creek Drive.

The shuttles run every 30 minutes Monday through Friday and hourly on Saturday and Sunday. They operate in the morning, afternoon, and evening to coordinate with shift change times.
Groveport purchased four 2016 Starcraft MVP, 28 passenger shuttle buses for the GREAT program from Bus Services, Inc., at a cost of $62,050 per bus with options.

Businesses that benefit from GREAT are helping to financially support the program. Hall previously stated area businesses were asked to pay a $5,000 start up donation and are required to pay a $1,000 annual membership fee beginning in 2016. Hall said that, in addition to the $1,000 annual membership fee, most, if not all, businesses will pay the ticket charge for their employees.

For information on the GREAT shuttle service program visit and

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  1. is there going to be connection COTA’s Line 89 Hamilton road to Rickenbacker. Line 89 goes on Hamilton Road to Homer Lane just 1 mile short of Rickenbacker ???


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