A growing number of residents are realizing the benefits of replacing car trips with using the bus, carpooling, walking or biking. These benefits include saving money, leading a healthy lifestyle and contributing to cleaner air. Similarly, the City of Columbus has also set goals to reduce the impacts of its daily operations on the environment through strategic management and use of city fleet vehicles.
Below is a list of initiatives taking place to help the city and its residents find greener ways to go.
On July 30, 2013, a network of 300 bikes at 30 downtown locations became operational. To participate users purchase an annual membership or 24 hour or 3 day pass at a station or online. Each time a bike is checked out the first 30 minutes are free, followed by incremental charges each half hour thereafter.
The specialized 3-speed bikes (pictured above) are designed for users 18 years and older and feature adjustable seats, safety lights, fenders and a basket as well as components to prevent theft and tampering.
Learn more by visiting www.CoGoBikeShare.com
CENTRAL OHIO BIKEWAYS
The Central Ohio Greenways trail system has over 100 miles of multi-use paths connecting cyclists, joggers and walkers to destinations throughout the region. For more information visit: www.centralohiogreenways.com. On-road bike infrastructure, bike parking and other amenities are also available throughout the city. For more information click here.
COTA BUS SERVICE
Riding public transit is easy, safe and convenient with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). Not only is riding COTA a great way to go green, but taking public transit saves you money!
COTA has many options to make riding the bus a more convenient and positive experience. Passengers have the following options available:
Bike 'n Bus: All COTA buses are equipped with bike racks that securely hold two bikes per rack and are available to all COTA passengers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Park and Ride: There are 28 park and ride locations that take the hassle out of driving to work. Simply leave your car at one of the park and ride locations and let COTA do the driving.
Air Connect: A direct bus line connects downtown with the Port Columbus Regional Airport.
CBUS: COTA's CBUS® is the city's free Downtown Circulator, traveling from Brewery District, through Downtown to Short North, and back again. CBUS runs every 10-15 minutes, 7 days a week!
Downtown C-pass: The City of Columbus is proud to be a participating employer in the Downtown C-pass. The program offers a free bus pass to all eligible employees in downtown Columbus, thanks to a partnership between Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (CCSID), the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). The C-pass provides city employees who work downtown a free, unlimited pass good on any COTA route, any, day any time. Not only can employees save money, but by shifting from single-occupancy vehicles to transit, the region could reduce its carbon emissions and improve air quality. Contact Tracey Ingram, Department of Human Resources, City of Columbus, at 614-645-2585 or TAIngram@columbus.gov to see if you’re eligible for C-pass.
Express and Local lines: COTA has 29 local (plus the seasonal zoo service line) and 9 crosstown lines that serve passengers throughout central Ohio. There are 40 express lines that get passengers to and from work safe and hassle-free. COTA serves passengers seven days a week and services those with disabilities through bus lifts that accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
The city is committed to reducing environmental impacts from its fleet of vehicles, winning numerous awards for its efforts. The fleet is comprised of approximately 3,000 on-road and 3,300 off-road vehicles.
The city's operates two fast-fill CNG fueling stations, both open to the public. To locate the City's and other CNG stations, visit the U.S. Department of Energy station locator tool.
If you would like to install an electric vehicle charging station in your home, learn more about permitting and other concerns by clicking here. For rebates on EV home chargers for Division of Power customers click here.
There are over twenty electric vehicle charging stations open to the public throughout Columbus. To locate them, visit the U.S. Department of Energy station locator tool. Additional electric vehicle charging station infrastructure will be deployed as part of the Smart Columbus, US DOT and Vulcan Smart Cities award.
For more information on alternative fuels and greening your fleet, visit Clean Fuels Ohio.
The City of Columbus is a member of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission which offers residents the following transportation services through the Gohio program:
• Vanpool matching: Assistance to connect you with other people vanpool to work together using a vehicle on lease from MORPC. Riders share the costs of gasoline and parking to save you money and reduce congestion on central Ohio roadways.
• Guaranteed Ride Home: Offered to commuters using alternative modes of transportation to work (bus, bike, walk, car or vanpool), this free program provides reimbursement for cab fare home up to four times per year in the event of emergency or bad weather.
BUG YOUR BIKE
Increase the chance your bicycle will be returned if lost or stolen by registering your property with the City of Columbus. Whether a bicycle is recovered by the City of Columbus, The Ohio State University, or COTA, this unified system will help lost bicycles find their way home. Learn more.