Recently Kish and I went to a show at the Riffe Center, across the street from the Ohio Statehouse. We noticed a new Central Ohio Transit Authority sign, for “CMAX” as well as our old favorite, the CBUS.
It’s a new concept for COTA — a rapid transit bus line. The CMAX will make fewer stops, at major destinations on the most congested bus lines, with the goal of reducing travel time, reducing congestion, and creating better conditions for pedestrians. And, from the COTA website linked above, it looks like the ultimate plan is for the CMAX to include improved technology — like, perhaps, wireless options on buses. The Bus-Riding Conservative has long held that offering wireless could be the key to making riding buses really attractive to the Gen Xers, who he thinks would happily choose an option that would allow them to check out all of their social media contacts while they are commuting.
The first CMAX line will run along Cleveland Avenue, connecting downtown to Polaris Parkway — a route that COTA estimates serves more than 220,000 residents and 170,000 workers. The sign at High and State is for one of the stops at the downtown end of the route.
I have to give COTA credit — with the CBUS, the Airconnect bus that links the airport and downtown hotels, and now CMAX, our local transit agency is making a good effort to redefine “the bus” and provide service that is more targeted to what the community really needs. Here’s hoping that CMAX is another success story.