The Central Ohio Transit Authority has received national recognition for its service.
Mike Foley reports.
The American Public Transportation Association presented COTA with the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award. APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas commended COTA for making the right judgments.
"It's implemented a comprehensive redesign of its system to make services more accessible, efficient, and direct,” Skoutelas said. "That sounds straightforward, but I know firsthand that's not a given everywhere. Systems are reluctant often to make change. They are satisfied providing what they have provided last year, five years ago, ten years ago and yet we know communities and demographics are changing. We need to be responsive. COTA has stepped up to do just that. COTA has doubled high frequency lines along major corridors, where it knows there's demand. It's offered customers amenities, including free WiFi and GPS technology to track its entire fleet and make it more responsive. It’s built a pipeline of future workers and given high school students an opportunity to develop transferrable skills. It's assisted local municipalities with that last mile connection, that last mile shuttle service. Why is that important? It's that last connection of people to jobs."
COTA received the award in the category for systems with an annual ridership of more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips. Last year, COTA had 18.7 million passenger trips. President and CEO Joanna Pinkerton says COTA's ridership increased 10 percent last month compared to July of 2017. Saturday ridership increased 6 percent, and Sunday's jumped 25 percent. Pinkerton says COTA will work to craft the future of mobility using data, technology, and collaboration as the guiding principles.