For the second time in three years, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) earned the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, recognizing the organization as the best transit organization of its size in North America.
The award was announced by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and recognizes COTA for demonstrating excellence in providing mobility options for the Central Ohio region. COTA received the international award in the midsize category for systems with an annual ridership of more than four million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips. In 2019, COTA’s ridership was 19,141,454, the highest since 1988.
“We are incredibly humbled and thrilled that APTA has once again honored us with this national recognition,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “This award speaks to the bold changes COTA is making as the region’s mobility solutions provider, with options that are equitable and inclusive for our diverse customers. This award also recognizes the incredible work of our nearly 1,150 employees, the majority of who work on the frontlines every day, providing essential service to our community and helping connect our customers to opportunities for social and economic prosperity.”
APTA evaluated COTA on successes it achieved from 2017 to 2019, which include:
- The highest ridership in 31 years.
- COTA’s development of on-demand service such as COTA//Plus and Mainstream On-Demand.
- Adoption of a five-year strategic plan with a core focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Commitment to low and no-emission transit vehicles.
- Development of the C-pass program for downtown employees.
- Launch of CMAX, the region’s first bus rapid transit.
- Commitment to corridor studies, to improve mobility and foster economic development.