The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) received the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, recognizing COTA as a “best of the best” operation among transit organizations in North America. The award, which was announced in front of nearly 700 attendees at COTA’s Annual Luncheon, which took place Aug. 16, 2018, is given to transit systems that have demonstrated excellence in mobility efficiency and effectiveness by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
COTA’s commitment to safety across the organization, the May 2017 transit system redesign, and fleet-wide Wi-Fi access for riders were among the achievements considered by APTA.
“This national recognition validates our message — we are committed to innovation and accelerating solutions to support Central Ohio. I am so proud of the entire COTA team for being leaders in the industry, and especially for bringing forward best-in-class technology and building collaborations to better serve our community,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna Pinkerton. “We are honored to be named among our top-performing peers. We look forward to the work ahead leading advancements into the next era of mobility.”
APTA annually recognizes public transit agencies with the outstanding system achievement awards. 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. In 2017, COTA had 18.7 million passenger trips.
Notable achievements APTA considered from COTA’s award nomination:
- Safety: Investment in enhanced safety measurers reducing workplace injuries;
- Efficiency: Undertook historic transit system redesign, making service more direct and efficient;
- Innovation: Launched 4G Wi-Fi access for riders across entire fleet;
- Sustainability: Transitioning fleet to compressed natural gas to reduce environmental footprint;
- Workforce: Commitment to continuing education and leadership development;
- Equity: Providing access to opportunities for minorities and women.
“I congratulate Central Ohio Transportation Authority (COTA) for winning APTA’s top public transit system award in North America for medium-sized systems,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “COTA’s many achievements and its vision for greater mobility in the Columbus region are helping redefine public transportation as the backbone of an increasingly interconnected, multi-modal transportation network.”