BY 2050, AN ESTIMATED 604,000 more people will live in the Columbus Region. Over the past 40 years, the region’s population grew by 707,000 people. The region added 235,900 between 2000 and 2010 alone. Simply put, the Columbus Region will absorb a population equal to the entire city of Boston over the next 36 years. At the same time, it will add 318,000 jobs. These estimates are based on compounded growth of 6.43 percent over the next four decades, half the rate experienced between 2000 and 2010. The transportation system required to accommodate this growth is complex, and the vision will need to be comprehensive. This level of growth cannot be accommodated by the expansion of the highway system alone.
Currently, the Columbus Region is “auto-centric,” with nearly 83 percent of commuters driving alone to work each day. However, that will not be true in the future. An aging population, changing lifestyle preferences of younger generations, increasing environmental awareness, expanding competition for labor and business, rising costs of driving, and questionable funding from the federal government are all forcing the region to confront the deficiencies in the current transportation system. Now is the time to prepare for additional travel options.
Currently, the Forge Ahead Team is executing the first of three phases of the plan. They are co-teaching a participatory planning class at OSU this semester to help aggregate stakeholder input. Now is your chance to share ideas that can help improve public transportation in Columbus. Submit and share your ideas online at: