City of Columbus Unveils New Transit System Changes

The city of Columbus will be spending a little over $22 million in sales tax funds to pay for new changes in the current city bus system. With the Columbus METRA Transit System having over 1 million riders per year and steadily growing, the company will be making significant changes.

Some of the changes include, a fleet of new buses, routes running until 11:30pm at night, creating better accessibility for disabled persons, developing more crosswalks, and creating faster route times.

The Director of Planning, Rick Jones said, "In some cases a route’s now running at a full 90 minutes to complete a loop, we’re hoping to cut that down to 60 minutes, some of the routes we hope to cut back to 30 minutes so there won’t be so much lag time waiting for a bus… To get on a bus and get to a destination."

Another one of METRA’s main focuses will be to create accessibility where there isn’t any, such as a bus stop not being close enough to a person’s workplace or their home.

METRA’s basing these changes off of a year study done by a consulting firm. During the year study, people working for the firm rode the bus routes to see what the transit system is doing right for the people of Columbus and what improvements still needed to be made.

The Director of METRA, Saundra Hunter said, "This is a customer driven improvement that we really know is gonna carry us for at least 10 to 15 years."

The changes in the METRA transit system are expected to be up and running by 2016.