The Downtown C-pass program launched June 1, bringing unlimited access to bus service to downtown employees in eligible buildings. Already, nearly 300 companies have enrolled over 9,600 employees. The program is a partnership between Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (CCSID), Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). In addition, Downtown C-pass is affiliated with SMART Columbus. Downtown C-pass provides eligible workers access to COTA's bus system at no cost.
Downtown C-pass is unique, as no one has created a program like it before. It is a creative answer to downtown's parking challenges. Downtown property owners in CCSID agreed to fund the program through 2020. Beginning in 2015, CCSID, COTA and MORPC conducted an 18-month pilot program with four downtown employers. Each employee was provided access to a free bus pass. As a result, COTA ridership doubled among the sample group in three months. Consequently, if the same percentage of workers shift to transit, it could free up 2,600 parking spaces downtown. Most noteworthy, it is already helping downtown employers attract employees.
"C-pass was a huge selling point...at least half their workforce intends to use it," said Dan Dunmoor of Colliers International in talking about a new tenant leasing space downtown.
Even more, the Downtown C-pass program is getting national and international attention. Over 50 C-pass stories have appeared in news outlets near and far. On the west coast, the San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times both picked up the story. Also, a story appeared across the pond in the London Guardian. Finally, the readers of Streetsblog voted C-pass "Best Traffic Reduction Policy" in its year-end "Best and Worst of 2017." Urban planners and transportation experts follow this daily blog.
For more information on Downtown C-pass, including scheduling an information session, contact Program Manager Kacey Brankamp at (614) 591-4184 or email@example.com