Press Release12/16/2020

Responsible 2021 Budget Continues Flexible Service, Enhances Innovations, Prepares for Future Growth

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees today adopted the 2021 budget, which protects the organization’s long-term financial sustainability while meeting the community’s rapidly changing mobility needs. The $172 million investment plan is a 1.1% increase over the projected 2020 budget, the lowest year-to-year increase in the past decade. Presented to the board by Chief Financial Officer Angel Mumma, the 2021 budget will use the surplus from 2020 and prior years so COTA can continue flexible transit service and enhance mobility innovations while preparing for an anticipated significant population increase over the next three decades.

“This is a responsible budget that reflects both the financial uncertainty created by the pandemic and the community’s need for reliable and innovative mobility services,” said Board of Trustees Chair Craig P. Treneff. “I commend the COTA administration for its thoughtful management of this year’s revenues so that we can fully serve our customers in 2021.”

“I am incredibly proud that COTA has supported our community throughout an unprecedented challenge while still maintaining a strong fiscal position for 2021,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “I thank all members of the board for their guidance in supporting an investment plan that will allow us to enhance mobility solutions and help build a more equitable community in the year ahead.”

Several 2020 budget highlights include:

  • Serving the community’s mobility needs with more than 1 million fixed-route service hours
  • Continued integration of COTA//Plus, Bus-on-Demand and Mainstream-on-Demand services to infuse flexibility in mobility service models
  • Additional support of the LinkUS community transformation initiative including preliminary design and/or engineering and development of East-West and Northwest corridors
  • Fare management modernization to create a more accessible and equitable system for all customers
  • Infrastructure to support management, development and analysis of critical data and data architecture systems
  • Modified marketing and communication strategies to reach both existing and returning COTA customers

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