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Funding looks favorable for COTA rapid transit line

Funding looks favorable for COTA rapid transit line

614now Staff

Congress has given its approval for $38 million worth of federal funding for a proposed COTA rapid transit line. The dollars would supply most of the project’s $48 million price tag. The CMAX line would connect the Polaris area with downtown Columbus. Service would likely begin in September of 2017.

President Obama is expected to sign-off on the measure.

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Previous: Funding at risk for proposed COTA rapid-transit line 9/2/2015

COTA has plans on the books to launch a rapid transit line connecting the Polaris-area with downtown Columbus. The 15.6 mile route (called CMAX) would run mostly along Cleveland Avenue and cost in the neighborhood of $48 million to launch. $38 million of that money would come from the federal government through the Federal Transit Administration with the balance covered by local tax dollars.

According to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D), the Republican-controlled House of Representatives supports the funding as do Senate Democrats and the President. But Senate Republicans have taken steps to cut funding for projects like Cmax…leaving COTA with a solid plan and not enough money to put it into practice.

Senator Brown was in Columbus on Tuesday meeting with officials from COTA and said that he will do his best to secure the dollars necessary for the project. He says that the proposed funding cut is part of a long trend of lawmakers’ lack of desire to spend money on things like transportation.

COTA says that Cmax would serve 200,000 riders each year. If the funding comes through, CMAX has a planned launch date of September 2017.  (jj)

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