The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) broke ground this week on a modernization project for its primary transit facility.
COTA said in a press release that the project will enable a more sustainable fleet while providing workforce training for the surrounding community. The $65 million renovation of COTA’s McKinley Avenue facility will include expansive electric vehicle charging capabilities in order to ease the transition to diesel-free transit vehicles.
COTA says it is on track to meet its commitment to be diesel-free by 2025, replacing all diesel transit vehicles with compressed natural gas and soon piloting an electrical fleet. The agency reduced greenhouse gases by 9% between 2012 and 2020—a period during which the Central Ohio region saw a 40% increase in transportation-related greenhouse gases, the agency says.
One of the agency's goals is to commit to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, a goal that is aligned with the City of Columbus Climate Action Plan.
“This project is about transformation, which is focused on quality of life for all people,” COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton said in a statement. “These are ambitious, necessary, and achievable goals which will ensure our next generation of workforce has a healthy region to prosper. COTA is committed to showing that sustainable growth can be done and it must be done to support vibrant, healthy neighborhoods and a vibrant, healthy economy for everyone.”
In partnership with Marker Construction, COTA will offer job training opportunities to students, women, minorities, unemployed adults, and formerly incarcerated individuals. A total of $250,000 has been set aside for the administration, coordination, and implementation of the workforce training program.
The renovation of COTA’s McKinley Avenue facility is projected to be completed in June 2023.
SOURCE: Central Ohio Transit Authority