Worthington News

Implementation set for 2015-17

COTA to cease service to Colonial Hills, Worthington Estates

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The familiar COTA bus that loops through Colonial Hills and Worthington Estates will be discontinued when the bus company implements its new routes.

Implementation is set for 2015-17.

Also to be lost is the express bus route that speeds Worthington residents to and from central Columbus during peak hours, as well as the No. 33 route along Proprietors, Schrock and Huntley roads.

On the plus side, Worthington riders will be able to take a bus to Polaris, and the first east-west bus out of Worthington will travel east along Dublin-Granville Road and as far as Westerville Road.

No west version of that extension is planned. Riders still won't be able to get to Dublin from Worthington.

The changes are part of plans to revamp bus routes throughout central Ohio in an attempt to gain more efficiency and effectiveness without spending additional money.

Designers say the new plan would put more potential riders into a position where a bus is available within a 15-minute walk from home or work. To achieve that, some other riders will lose some services, transportation consultant Chris Prentice said.

He presented the plan to a few people who attended a public hearing at the Northwest Library on May 4. It was the final of nine meetings held around central Ohio to get input on the new bus plans.

Planning for the changes began in January, with a round of public meetings held in March and a draft plan developed in May.

The focus groups were held in various locations in central Ohio in May and June.

A final plan is due in September, with implementation set for 2015 to 2017.

To better serve more people and to reach such areas as Polaris and other outlying commerce areas, the plan discontinues or reduces low-performing routes and removes unproductive loops and deviations.

In Worthington, only seven people are picked up on the Colonial Hills route in one day. Three are dropped off.

In Worthington Estates, only seven people board during an average day, and eight exit.

Both subdivisions are part of the No. 2 local line, which runs every 15 minutes on weekdays.

The No. 31 express bus also goes through Worthington Estates. It also travels north to Crosswoods.

It will change to the No. 2L High Limited and will run seven days a week, every 30 minutes along High Street. It also will provide transportation service to Polaris.

Between Polaris and Westview Avenue, just north of Graceland Shopping Center, it will be a local service with frequent stops. At Graceland, it will become an express service with limited stops to speed the trip to downtown Columbus.

The east-west connector will start at High Street and run along state Route 161 to Westerville Road, where it will turn south toward downtown.

Though COTA's figures show low ridership on the route that runs along Worthington's east-side industrial area (Proprietors, Schrock, Huntley), Worthington City Manager Matt Greeson said, he plans to do more research to make sure the elimination of the line does not hurt workers or businesses in Worthington.

If it does, he could make request a change before the COTA plan is finalized.

The public has until June 20 to submit comments to TSR@cota.com or by mail to COTA Planning, 33 N. High St., Columbus, 43216.

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