Columbus Fantasy Transit Map

Over the years, various people have created transit maps for Columbus. Seemingly borne out of frustration over Columbus’ transit, or more specifically, the lack thereof, the maps have been a great way to stir discussion and debate on the current and future state of transit in the city. Surprisingly, I have never thought to do one myself until recently.
While the map is a work in progress and more will be added, it currently includes 12 light rail lines, 1 heavy rail line and 8 BRT/Bus lines. Take a look at the full map, where you can click each station and check related connections to other lines, here: Columbus Fantasy Transit Map

Columbus’ Changing Transit Scene

There’s been some discussion over the last few years about how driving habits are changing nationally. I’ve seen at least a few reports suggesting that overall driving is actually on the decline and has been for some time. This even while the population of the US continues to rise. A new report has come out detailing the changing habits of cities. Here is how Columbus and other Ohio cities fared.

Percent Change in Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled from 2006-2011
Columbus: -5.7%
Dayton: -0.2%
Akron: +1.2%
Cleveland: +5.1%
Youngstown: +5.4%
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Columbus saw the largest drop in vehicle miles traveled, indicating that people there are driving less. Northeast Ohio all saw increases, which goes against the national trend. Toledo and Cincinnati did not have comparable numbers.

Percent Change in Per-Capita Passenger Miles Traveled on Mass Transit 2005-2010
Columbus: +1.6%
Dayton: -0.6%
Akron: -2.8%
Youngstown: -8.3%
Toledo: -28.8%
Cleveland: -34.2%
Cincinnati: -34.8%

Columbus was the only city to see an increase in its mass transit miles. Cleveland, Cincinnati saw drops of more than 1/3rd.

Change in the Proportion of Workers who Commuted by Car, 2000-2011

Dayton: -1.5%
Columbus: -1.2%
Toledo: -1.0%
Youngstown: -1.0%
Akron: -0.8%
Cleveland: -0.4%
Cincinnati: -0.2%

All 7 saw declines.

Change in the Proportion of Workers who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus: +0.3%
Akron: +0.1%
Cleveland: +0.1%
Dayton: +0.1%
Toledo: +0.1%
Cincinnati: +0%
Youngstown: +0%

Columbus saw the largest increase of all 7, although the actual changes are all small. No city measured in the US saw a change of more than +1.7%. The majority of cities were less than 0.3%.

Change in the Proportion of Workers Who Worked From Home, 2000-2011
Columbus: +1.4%
Cincinnati: +0.9%
Dayton: +0.8%
Cleveland: +0.6%
Toledo: +0.6%
Youngstown: +0.6%
Akron: +0.5%

Columbus again leads, though all cities saw increases.

Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2006
Cleveland: 8,285
Youngstown: 8,806
Akron: 9,379
Columbus: 9,956
Dayton: 10,084
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2011
Cleveland: 8,705
Youngstown: 9,284
Columbus: 9,385
Akron: 9,490
Dayton: 10,068
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2005
Cleveland: 172.0
Cincinnati: 110.0
Dayton: 64.7
Columbus: 52.6
Toledo: 51.6
Akron: 42.9
Youngstown: 17.3

Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2010
Cleveland: 113.0
Cincinnati: 71.8
Dayton: 64.1
Columbus: 53.4
Akron: 41.7
Toledo: 36.7
Youngstown: 15.9

% of Workers who Traveled by Car, 2011
Cleveland: 89.2%
Columbus: 89.8%
Cincinnati: 90.6%
Dayton: 91.4%
Akron: 92.5%
Toledo: 93.1%
Youngstown: 94.4%

National Rank (of 100 cities) in the % Change for those who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus: 15th
Dayton: 37th
Cleveland: 38th
Akron: 39th
Toledo: 49th
Cincinnati: 74th
Youngstown: 81st

% Change of Households with No Vehicle, 2006-2011

Akron: +2.2%
Dayton: +1.0%
Cleveland: +0.9%
Columbus: +0.9%
Cincinnati: -0.3%
Toledo: -0.4%
Youngstown: N/A

% Change of Households with 2+ Vehicles, 2006-2011
Toledo: -4.2%
Akron: -3.6%
Dayton: -2.8%
Cleveland: -2.6%
Columbus: -1.4%
Cincinnati: -1.1%
Youngstown: N/A

So what does all this data tell us? Well, for the most part, all Ohio cities are seeing car use decline in some way or another. Columbus performs strongly in car use declines and increases in at-home workers and increases in bike commuting. Mass-transit was where it performed the weakest, where it’s middle of the pack. Yet even there, it saw increases in its use.

Full study link: