COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Getting to Red, White & BOOM! can be cramped and congested, but the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is offering alternatives.

On Friday, anyone looking for a way to Zoom to the BOOM, COTA said it’s got you covered.

Robert Jefferson drives COTA bus #3 to Grove City; on Friday, he’ll be among dozens of drivers on BOOM duty.

Jefferson is no stranger to the event; he’s been part of it for the last 14 years.

“If you don’t like people, you’re not going to like it,” he said. “I love people. So, I really enjoy what I do here at COTA.”

COTA spokesperson Jeff Pullin said Red, White & BOOM! is the authority’s Super Bowl, expecting 15,000 to 20,000 riders this year.

“We do anticipate having some full buses, so we do want people to be mindful of that,” Pullin said. “But we do our best to make sure the buses are clean and ready to go for this big event.”

All traffic will be shut down Friday from the Ohio Statehouse to Nationwide Boulevard to make room for the large COTA boarding zone.

Apart from regular routes, express service will run downtown starting at 4:30 from five different park and ride locations:

  • Grove City
  • Worthington Kilbourne
  • Westerville
  • Reynoldsburg
  • Crossroads

For COTA drivers and staff, it’s all hands on deck and Jefferson said he’s ready.

“We just want it to be a good success and have fun here in the BOOM! this year,” he said. “It’s been, what, three years, so we’re looking for a good turnout.”

COTA staff members will be on hand to meet riders before and after the fireworks display to help with crowd control. In addition to added park and ride routes, the regular routes will be extended to get everyone to BOOM! safely.

For more on COTA’s plan for Friday, click here.