A few years ago, a group of property owners in downtown Columbus realized they had a problem: They were running out of room for car commuters. There wasn’t enough parking to accommodate more.
Rather than lobby elected officials to spend millions on parking decks, they came at the problem from a different angle — making transit more appealing.
For the last year and a half, Columbus’s Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District — which has property taxing authority downtown — has been piloting a free transit pass program for 844 downtown workers. It made an impact: The share of workers in the program who commute via transit increased from 6 percent to 12 percent.
Now the Special Improvement District wants to expand the program to all 40,000 workers downtown, reports Kimball Perry at the Columbus Dispatch:
Half of the $5 million cost to provide the passes for more than 2½ years would come from 550 owners of properties in the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, who would pay 3 cents per square foot of space per year, said Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of the district. Capital Crossroads would seek grantsfrom foundations and others to pay the rest of the cost.
Read the rest of the story here.