Archive for April 11th, 2008

Walker Evans of The Walker Evans Effect started his COTA Challenge yesterday. One of the things that Walker mentions is that the general population has retained a rather negative image about COTA, but he says, and I agree, that its not as bad as people think.

In eight years of using COTA I’ve had only three or four experiences when a bus has been late enough to force me into finding another transportation option. Walker states the obvious when he says that the bus is a machine and machines break.  For the most part, I can set my watch by the busses that pass along my street.

Another great point brought up in Walker’s first day of the COTA challenge is that the #2 along High Street runs with 10-20 minute headways. The best part about traveling along High Street, however, is that there are a multitude of choices, depending upon where on High Street one is traveling. In addition to the 2, one can travel north of Broad Street on the 4, 7 and 8 line. Each of these lines touch High Street at some point, even though the #2 remains the easiest and most popular of High Street lines.

Since January I’ve been relying on COTA for most of my transportation needs, using my car only when it’s absolutely necessary. Year to date, I’ve spent $122.31 on gasoline and with an employer sponsored transit pass (which is subsidized by the Federal Government) I have no out-of-pocket expense for public transportation use.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of bashing public transportation. “It’s not convenient” is the most common opposition or “I don’t ride busses”, spoken as if not using pubic transit was a status symbol. I choose to look at it this way; Each time we use a private automobile, we’re competing against our farmers for fuel and it will be far more inconvenient when our farmers can no longer afford the fuel necessary to grow our food. With that in mind, I can afford to wait twenty minutes for the next bus.

COTA can assist Central Ohio employers in offering the transit subsidy benefit for their employees. Call 614 275 5839 for more information or visit COTA’s Employer Services website.

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