COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The goal of the Central Ohio Transit Authority? To match a rapidly growing city with a rapid transit system.

Joanna Pinkerton, COTA’s chief executive officer, showed Ohio leaders on Thursday one of the proposed transit routes included in the proposed LinkUS Rapid Transit plan that would cost nearly $2 billion by 2030. The plan includes two new bus corridors — where bus lanes and stops sit within traffic lanes — the expansion of transit-supportive infrastructures like sidewalks, bike trails and roadway improvements, as well as supporting equitable transit-oriented development, according to COTA.

“We do need to transition to what we consider more of, sort of, a world-class system,” Pinkerton said. “So corridors where you see major development happening allows you to put more ridership, more people through at a faster rate.”

The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill by U.S. Congress is expected to bring $149 billion in federal funds to Columbus. COTA said it is seeking $300 million in federal funding for planning, which includes the two bus corridors proposed in the LinkUS plan.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who attended Pinkerton’s display of the proposed transit route, said when working on the infrastructure bill, the main focus was integrating housing with transportation.

“It’s clear we’re going to need more multi-housing units, putting them as close to bus stops and transit stops as possible,” Brown said. “It’s good for the environment, it’s good for people getting to work less expensively, efficiently and safely.”

However, federal funding won’t fully cover the plan, meaning local tax dollars matching the funding will be needed.

This means COTA could be asking central Ohioans for a tax increase on the upcoming ballot.

As of today, Pinkerton says the COTA Board of Trustees has not voted to put an initiative on the November ballot, but the board is meeting later this month. The possibility of a ballot initiative, she said, is not entirely ruled out.

“At some time the COTA Board of Trustees will have to vote to put an initiative on the ballot,” Pinkerton said. “They have not done that as of this month, and I’m sure we’ll be able to give you more information after our July 27 board meeting.”

According to the LinkUS plan, the initiative would propose increasing the existing COTA sales tax of 0.5% — 0.25% temporary and 0.25% permanent — with a new 1.0% permanent sales tax.