By John Gardocki, Greater Ohio Intern
The American Public Transportation Administration recently announced that the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) had the top increase in ridership nationally for large bus systems from 2010 to 2011. In 2011, there were 18.8 million total bus trips, an increase of 10.1 percent from 2010. The City of Cleveland also saw 12.3 percent heavy rail ridership increase within the last year. Nationally, public transportation increased 2.3 percent, the second highest ridership increase since 1957.
COTA has already seen a 6.1 percent increase in January 2012 ridership from 2011 data. Some argue that the increased ridership is due to the increase in gas prices and increased consumer-based technology to help with understanding public transportation.
COTA’s TXT 4 NXT BUS enables users in the Short North and University District to find the bus pick-up time by texting a number which is quick and convenient. COTA is offering commuters on a budget an effective way to get to work, experience Columbus, and help encourage sustainability. Increasing the ridership is important for public transportation growth in Columbus. Multiple public transportation projects have been declined because of recent economic downturns; it is good to see the public taking the opportunity to acknowledge public transportation is good.