COTA to Try Out Ultra-Long Buses

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The proverbial no vacancy signs hanging on local buses may soon be a thing of the past. Columbus City Council gave the go ahead to the Central Ohio Transit Authority to try out ultra -long buses on at least one of the most congested city bus lines.

The ultra long buses are called articulated buses. They look like two buses connected by what resembles the bellows of an accordion.

Currently, Cleveland is the only city in Ohio that uses them. But COTA wants to give them a try. COTA plans to purchase six articulated buses.

Curtis Stitt is COTA’s legal council.

“We are leaving people standing at bus stops when we have full loads in the peak and during the day because we simply can’t get people on the buses,” Stitt said.

Stitt said COTA will try out the buses first on line one – one of the busiest in the city. It serves passengers on Cleveland and Livingston Avenues where the line’s crowded buses often are forced to pass by riders. Stitt said other routes could see the new buses.

The 60-foot articulated bus holds about 57 people. That’s about 50 percent more riders than current COTA buses. And the new buses will be hybrid-electrics rather than diesel fueled.

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