Central Ohio Transit Authority partners with Lyft on multimodal information initiative

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The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is deploying an innovative new way to get passengers to consider multimodal options through a new partnership that is enabling it to show public transit information on Lyft’s ride-haling app.

The in-app transit information, which will also be available on Lyft’s CoGo Bike Share app, will allow customers to compare more of their transportation options within the Columbus area in one seamless experience. This new feature, along with Lyft rideshare options, provides customers with access to a broad range of affordable and reliable public transportation options from COTA.

In the Columbus area, 44% of Lyft riders do not own a personal vehicle and 55% of Lyft riders in Columbus have reported using Lyft to get to or from public transit in the past. The update puts mobility options front and center, making it easier for riders to make informed decisions about how to get from point A to point B quickly and sustainably. The transit feature allows customers to see upcoming departures for COTA’s nearby fixed-route service.

Customers can easily see transit lines and approaching vehicles on the map or they can simply enter a destination for a complete itinerary from start to finish. For nearby destinations, Lyft shows walking directions alongside COTA and rideshare options.

“Now more than ever, it’s important for riders who may not own a personal vehicle, to be able to access all of their transportation options in a single place whether that be public transit, bikeshare or rideshare,” says Caroline Samponaro, head of transit, bike and scooter policy at Lyft. “The future of transportation is about giving riders options and empowering them with the information they need to decide how to best get where they’re going quickly, affordably and sustainably.”

“Lyft’s decision to include COTA real-time transit information on its platform further demonstrates how private and public mobility partners can work together for a better customer experience,” says COTA chief innovation officer Sophia Mohr. “As COTA works to enhance mobility in Central Ohio, we appreciate organizations like Lyft for collaborating with us to make accessing transportation more equitable and inclusive.”

Lyft operates the CoGo Bike Share system, which has grown to include over 600 bikes across over 80 stations since it was founded in 2013.

Lyft’s Transit feature is now available in 20 cities across North America, including New York City, Chicago and Portland, with more planned through 2021, as riders increasingly seek flexibility.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).