The Central Ohio Transit Authority's Cleveland Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project, which received federal funding in mid-December, could prove to be an economic boon to the Northland area.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority's Cleveland Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project, which received federal funding in mid-December, could prove to be an economic boon to the Northland area.

Emmanuel V. Remy, president of the Northland Community Council, said the first Bus Rapid Transit line in central Ohio will make housing in the neighborhood more attractive because of the ease and speed with which residents can commute to work downtown.

COTA officials announced Dec. 18 that $38 million for the project, called CMAX, had been included in the federal appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016.

"It's kind of a green-light, full-speed-ahead on that," Remy said at the Jan. 5 NCC meeting.

Construction for CMAX is scheduled to begin in the spring with service projected to start in September 2017. The high-frequency, limited-stop service along Cleveland Avenue between East Dublin-Granville Road and downtown should cut down travel time by 21 percent over current service, according to an announcement from COTA.

COTA officials anticipate a 15- to 20-percent increase in ridership along the corridor in the first five years of operation.