Columbus’ public transit agency is getting a lift from a local startup studio to find and support emerging transportation technologies.
The Central Ohio Transit Authority and Rev1 Ventures have announced the creation of COTA’s GO! Mobility Lab to deliver “equitable, accessible public transit services and keep Central Ohio at the forefront of smart mobility innovation.”
The organizations are working on advancing new technologies in customer experience, mobility planning, and operations to transform the ease of use and access to public transportation mobility options (like adding real-time digital signage at bus stops). The GO! Mobility Lab, located in the High Street headquarters of COTA, also serves as a workspace where entrepreneurs can work alongside the agency’s innovation team on smart mobility projects.
“COTA’s goal of providing equitable, accessible transit as our region rapidly grows requires new technology and new ways of thinking about and approaching mobility,” COTA President and CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton said in a press release. “This partnership with Rev1 will allow COTA to tap into a powerful startup ecosystem and foster the technologies needed to advance smart mobility for our customers and our organization. Our Go! Mobility Lab and Innovation Team have had great success in recent years collaborating with our well-established corporate and non-profit partners, and we are excited to begin working with entrepreneurs, too who are looking to shape and alter how transit operates through innovative mobility solutions.”
Winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge in 2016 and home to the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, Columbus has been a leader in the testing of new transportation technologies.
As the mobility industry continues to evolve, COTA is focusing on innovations and partnerships. COTA says it supports startups by adopting technologies as well as by offering its expertise, identifying opportunities for joint development, product testing and more. In one recent example of agency-startup collaboration, COTA partnered with Rekor to launch an AI platform showing real-time traffic information across Central Ohio.
Rev1 Ventures, a startup studio that combines capital and strategic services to help startups scale and corporations innovate, will help identify, assess and engage with startups with the greatest potential for long-term success.
“Through our partnership, COTA is harnessing the collective power of its transit expertise and the infrastructure they’ve built, and weaving in Rev1’s startup studio approach for rapidly advancing innovative solutions by seeking to find and engage with breakthrough technologies in the industry,” said Mike McCann, Chief Business Development Officer for Rev1 Ventures.