The first bus rapid transit line is coming to Columbus.
The new line will have a dedicated lane connecting downtown Columbus to the northwest side of the city. Public transit in Columbus has long been lacking in the city and the rapid transit bus line aims to provide consistent, reliable alternative to traveling by car.
The northwest route will run along Olentangy River Road and connect several major hubs along the way, including OhioHealth’s campus on Riverside Dr., the Ohio State University, Lennox Town Center, and the Astor Park development surrounding Lower.com Field. The route will travel along Long and Spring streets.
“It’s a level of transit infrastructure we haven’t seen in Columbus to date,” Justin Goodwin, transportation planning manager for Columbus Public Service’s traffic management division, told Columbus Business First. “What we’re hearing from the public is we want something that is reliable, that is a real alternative to having to depend on a car,” Goodwin said. “This is really key to our growth strategy. We know we can’t continue to grow at the pace we are and not have true sustainable options.”
On Monday, Columbus City Council approved a $4.5 million contract to TransSystems Corp. The Central Ohio Transportation Authority will contribute $3.75 million of the total while the rest of the funding will come from city streets bonds.
In addition to the northwest route, there are also plans for high-capacity transit travelling east to west along Broad and Main streets. The city is expecting to begin construction on both routes by the end of the decade.
For more information about the upcoming rapid transit options, you can visit linkuscolumbus.com.