Sam Harrington / Lantern reporter
Central Ohio Transit Authority announced it will remove 71 bus stops, including three close to Ohio State’s campus, starting next month.
Within three weeks, both northbound and southbound bus stops on North High Street and Eighth, 17th and Northwood avenues will no longer run, affecting COTA lines 2 and 21.
Announced during COTA’s May 2013 Service Change Public Information Meeting on Tuesday, the removal of these stops is part of COTA’s Bus Stop Service Improvement Project.
The project, which started in 2010, has been analyzing COTA bus stops and the spacing between them. These stops are then compared to a standard based on spacing considerations, operational efficiency, maintenance costs and travel times, said COTA service planner Claire Beck.
“We have developed standards for how the bus stops should be spaced based on residential density, land use, ridership, all kinds of things like that,” Beck said. “The project goes through and analyzes (bus stops), and tries to make sure our bus stops are in line with our standards.”
The purpose of these changes is to improve the overall efficiency of COTA buses, Beck said.
“We make it a rule to optimize space at the bus stops so that you have a quick, easy travel time while on the bus,” she said.
COTA will be posting bulletins on its bus stops educating clients about the coming changes well before May 6.
“Commuter bulletins about the final decision are going to be posted this week so that everyone will know which bus stops will be removed or consolidated before we take them out on May 6,” Beck said.
Besides the removal of bus stops, COTA authorities also discussed plans for speedier service times.
Some of those in attendance said while they are not affected by any of COTA’s decisions, they just wanted to know what had been decided.
“I came to the meeting just to stay current on it,” said Karen Moshgat, who frequently rides the No. 32 Crosswoods express line.
Some OSU students who use COTA, but were not at the meeting, said they do not mind the removal of certain bus stops.
“No one’s going to complain about having to walk a couple extra feet to the bus,” said Jordan Finley, a fourth-year in strategic communication, while waiting for a COTA bus at the High Street and 17th Avenue bus stop. After its removal, the next closest stop to the 17th Avenue location will be at 15th Avenue and High Street, which was initially under investigation for removal earlier this year.
The Tuesday meeting at 33 N. High St. was COTA’s second public information meeting regarding May service changes. The first was held Thursday. Roughly 20 people were in attendance.