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App-based ride service launches for Columbus community

The on-demand deployment connects riders to the Southpark Industrial Park, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and the new Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital.

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Columbus was tasked with developing a first-of-its-kind smart transportation system
Columbus was tasked with developing a first-of-its-kind smart transportation system

Central Ohio Transit Authority (Cota) has announced an on-demand shared microtransit pilot programme in partnership with mobility developer, Via.

 

Called Cota Plus, the new service is available in Grove City, a community outside of Columbus experiencing rapid growth and increased need for connections to Cota’s other existing fixed-transit system.

 

Mobility challenges

 

Development of the Cota Plus app comes after Columbus competed against 77 cities nationwide to win the US Department of Transportation’s smart city challenge. The department tasked Columbus with developing an “integrated, first-of-its-kind smart transportation system that would use data, applications, and technology to help people and goods move more quickly, cheaply, and efficiently”.

 

Now three years later, according to Cota, its on-demand deployment in Grove City is another embodiment of the region’s dedication to developing the city of tomorrow.

 

“There is increased demand for greater mobility options across many of our Central Ohio communities, including Grove City,” said Joanna Pinkerton, president/CEO of Cota.

 

“Cota Plus was designed with input from multiple stakeholders, including the city and area businesses, who have identified mobility challenges as a barrier to employment, healthcare, and education. We are proud to pilot this innovative service under the unique Cota Plus brand, and to work with public and private entities in the future to solve mobility challenges.”

“Grove City residents now have a comfortable, convenient, and affordable way to move around. This is truly a great example of a city embracing the future of mobility”

Using the Cota Plus app, riders are able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. Via’s algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the vehicle.

 

The technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick-up and drop-off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules, the authority claims.

 

Users can book rides anywhere within the defined zone in Grove City. The on-demand deployment connects riders to the Southpark Industrial Park, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and the new Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital.

 

“We are thrilled to partner with our innovative partners at Cota to bring Via’s technology to the Columbus area,” added Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.

 

“The Cota Plus service shows how public transportation and technology can work together to make a city smarter. Grove City residents now have a comfortable, convenient, and affordable way to move around. This is truly a great example of a city embracing the future of mobility.”

 

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