Program could offer free bus passes to downtown workers

Cota Bus on N. High Street- Credit 10TV Cierra Johnson
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Edward Neale says he often searches for time in his work day at Sandman’s Cheesesteak downtown to go outside and feed the parking meter.

“Nine times out of 10 someone here has to go and pay their meter,” Neale said.

“We have to do it every hour or so.”

But a new program through Capital Crossroads is hopeful downtown workers will take advantage of public transportation, at no cost to them.

Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of Capital Crossroads, the organization leading the program says nearly 43,000 downtown workers will be eligible for a free year long bus passes through the new program.

“Private property owners of downtown are committed to raising the money for transit access for downtown employees,” Cleve Ricksecker said.

Capital Crossroads is hoping for a June 2018 launch, but are still awaiting an approval from COTA's board.

Organizers say trial runs involving more than 800 downtown white collar employees in 2015 proved successful.

Early estimates show after 3 months, the plan could open as many 2400 parking spots downtown.

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