To Our Transit Columbus Community,
As I reflect back over the last twelve months, even with all the difficulty this year has brought for transit in our city, I’m ecstatic about our good work at Transit Columbus.
The past 10 days have brought in to focus more than ever the importance of our work. Our transportation system, like other facets of our city, reflects the inequity and structural racism that is pervasive in America. We believe that equity in access, reliability, and funding for transit and personal mobility is imperative as we dismantle structural racism and rebuild our city as we recover from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
There will be tough days ahead for transit funding as local and state budgets begin to tighten. That’s why the work done this year to increase state funding was critical. Transit Columbus helped create the MoveOhio coalition and testified at 3 legislative meetings. Our work to strengthen relationships at the state level continues and the Transit Columbus team met with 8 central Ohio lawmakers in the Ohio General Assembly to advocate for transit and transit funding.
Finding and celebrating transit champions in our local and city government is a crucial piece of our work as well. In the last year Transit Columbus has met with five Columbus City Council members to discuss their work to make Columbus a city you can live and explore on a bus or your own two feet. Transit Columbus will continue to build and strengthen our relationship with key leaders advocating for alternative transit and safe and walkable neighborhoods.
This work helped us advance a few key ideas in our policy agenda, most notably COTA’s near seamless implementation of mobile fare payment and the City of Columbus’ adoption of the Vision Zero goal. Each projects took incredible political will and financial backing, and we celebrate the agencies who moved these projects forward. We also advocated for and participated in two temporary bus lanes on 3rd Street and High Street. We hope to see more projects like these in the coming year.
In the last few months since the pandemic upended our transit routines and experiences, we’ve turned our focus to bringing the Columbus transit advocacy community together. Transit Columbus has hosted 7 virtual chats with outside experts and transit champions on how our world is changing and expanding and how transit will be affected.
Now more than ever, alternative transportation will be key to building the city we want. Transit Columbus will continue to advocate for our policy agenda and fight for progress at the tables that matter.
Josh Lapp, Chair