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To alleviate parking crunch, Columbus SID will give workers free bus passes
Eli Dile   on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

Can cities convince more people to take the bus? Plenty have tried, but the single-occupancy car remains American workers’ commute of choice. But Columbus, Ohio, is betting more people will take the bus if it gives downtown workers free passes (Columbus Dispatch).

Lack of parking is a common complaint among Columbus employers, and the downtown core now has an office vacancy rate of 19 percent, and has seen a 28 percent decline in rents since 2002. The Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District hopes that by making complimentary bus passes available to any of the 43,000 downtown workers who want them, it can alleviate traffic and parking congestion.

Half of the funding will come from the SID’s 550 property owners, who will contribute three cents per square foot to the program. The other half the SID intends to raise from grants and other fundraising. The Central Ohio Transit Authority is helping by heavily discounting annual passes for the SID to $40.50, which normally cost $744.

If successful, the SID estimates it could free up 2,400 parking spaces, the equivalent of four parking garages.

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