May 25, 2009

COTA, Ohio State poll students on bus service


Transportation officials at Ohio State University worked with the Central Ohio Transit Authority to gauge interest in bus route and service change proposals for the fall.


More than 850 students, faculty and staff at Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus supplied their input on possible changes to campus-related service provided by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).

The polling was accomplished through an online survey that was posted for 14 days and drew 863 responses from OSU students, faculty and staff, said Elliott Doza, a service planner for COTA.

“We’re using the survey to check demand,” said Beth Berkemer, COTA’s media relations manager. “We have a great relationship with OSU and are always looking for ways to enhance that relationship.”

Berkemer said the questionnaire was prepared by COTA staff using an online survey service called Zoomerang. “This is a great tool for us to get an idea of what people need,” she said. “Our staff are getting very good at creating these surveys.”

The survey will gauge customer interest in two possible changes in bus service. In September, COTA plans to add a bus to Route 18, which currently serves downtown Columbus, the OSU campus and a shopping mall. One option would add hourly service to a local airport; the other would increase frequency along an extended route that services a shopping center.

Sarah Blouch, director of OSU’s Transportation and Parking Services, said OSU students pay $9 per academic quarter to ride COTA buses. There would not be an additional charge for the proposed extra service, she said. 

Supplementing COTA’s service, OSU provides transportation services using a fleet of 24 buses on nine routes, Blouch said. Annual ridership is approximately 3.8 million.

At press time, results of the survey had not been tallied. To view the online survey, now closed, link to http://www.cota.com/survey_DonScott_200905.asp.

 

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