We are committed to improving existing public transit and attracting new shared mobility options to the region to improve access to opportunity, foster sustainability and retain our city’s vitality as we grow.  

Expansion and Adoption of Multimodal Transit

The Goal

Grow Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) ridership and the number of mobility options in our community.

Project To-Date:

  • COTA rides increased 3% in 2018
  • 13,741 enrolled in the C-Pass program in 2018

Growing shared mobility in central Ohio is critical to preserving and enhancing quality of life in the region as we prepare to grow by 1 million people by 2050. Growing access to shared mobility will also expand access to opportunity for our residents by bringing jobs, education and healthcare within better reach. 

Columbus is home to the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), which provided nearly 19 million rides in 2018. Last year, COTA also introduced the region’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) service, CMAX, which increased ridership through the Cleveland Ave. corridor by 17%. In addition, COTA partnered with the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and Smart Columbus to launch the C-Pass program, providing 45,000 downtown Columbus employees with free bus passes. The program seeks to offer a creative solution to parking challenges experienced downtown and is the first of its kind in the country where property owners fund free, unlimited access to transit for employees. 

Because we know that too many of our residents struggle with lengthy commutes, multiple bus transfers and long waits, our team is creating a multimodal trip planning application, which will go live in late 2019. The mobile app will integrate trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing and payment services across public and private modes of transportation so that residents can seamlessly move from bus, to bike, to taxi, to scooter so they can get where they need to go affordably, conveniently and safely.

Smart Columbus and our partners also doubled the number of mobility service providers in the region from 2017 to 2018. Through active attraction efforts, Columbus introduced Zipcar, Bird, Lime and Chariot to the market and fostered the foundation of homegrown startups EmpowerBus and SHARE. These services provide critical first mile/last mile solutions for residents and expand connectivity outside the COTA service area. 

In 2018, Smart Columbus and DriveOhio also introduced Smart Circuit—Ohio’s first self-driving vehicle—to help educate our community on the potential of self-driving vehicle technology. We’re working to better understand the potential of this technology and how it can be used to address transportation gaps in our community. 

Partners on this project include Central Ohio Transit Authority, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, DriveOhio and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

Connected Shared Acceleration Fund Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Mobility Sustainability

Coming soon!

Smart Columbus will launch a first-of-its-kind trip planning app in 2019. 

Let’s Go

COTA is the public transit provider for greater Columbus. 

Be a Part of the Start

Ride Smart Circuit – Ohio's first self-driving shuttle – to be a part of the start of a new era of mobility innovation.