Ohio Public Transit Association

605 N. High St., #175

Columbus, OH 43215

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Ohio Public Transit Association


Ohio Public Transit Association | OPTA

OPTA is the primary advocate for public transportation in Ohio.  The Association provides leadership, resources, training, support, technical assistance, media outreach, public engagement, and governmental relations services to transit agencies and businesses across the state.

As the powerful and unified voice of our members, the 60,000 men and women they employ and the millions of people, including seniors, veterans, students, people with disabilities, and commuters  who use transit every year, OPTA strives to increase funding opportunities and improve Ohio’s quality of life.

Ensure that public transit receives federal, state, and local funding that will enable us to meet the needs of Ohioans today, tomorrow and well into the future;

Drive economic growth and job creation by making Ohio a leader in the research, development, and deployment of alternative fuels, green energy, and state-of-the-art transit technology;

Encourage cooperation and coordination among transit agencies, government entities, and the private sector;

Increase awareness of and support for transit among elected officials, community and civic leaders, the media, and the general public;

Foster continuous improvement in mobility services by providing a forum for members and other key stakeholders to interact, exchange information and ideas, evaluate new programs and concepts, and adopt proven best practices;

Improve the quality of life in our state by helping our member agencies provide the reliable, affordable, safe, and convenient public transportation services Ohioans want, need and deserve.

In order to accomplish our

established goals, OPTA: 

MAINTAINS an active and robust governmental affairs program designed to influence public policy, legislation, and regulation at the local, state, and national level;


ASSEMBLES, ANALYZES and widely disseminates data and information on mobility, environmental and other issues affecting transit;


BUILDS broad-based coalitions committed to promoting and achieving OPTA’s goals;


SERVES as a secure conduit for communication, dialogue, and the exchange of information among OPTA members regarding legislative, professional and technical matters;


PROVIDES public and media relations services that include drafting and distributing press releases, staging press conferences, arranging interviews, and responding to media inquiries;



MANAGES a multi-faceted digital program that includes a fully-developed website and social media presence;


STAGES the highly-popular OPTA conference that brings together transit agencies, vendors, industry experts, the media, government leaders and other interested parties each year in Columbus, Ohio;


ESTABLISHES and embraces the highest ethical standards.


If you share and support OPTA’s goals and would like to participate in our ongoing efforts to promote and strengthen public transit in our communities, our state, and our nation, we encourage you to join us by completing and submitting our membership application. We’ll be happy to welcome you aboard…


Carrie Woody, President

Ms. Woody is the director of the Lancaster Public Transit System which provides safe, affordable, reliable transportation throughout Fairfield County in central Ohio.

Howard Stewart, VP, Small Urban

Mr. Stewart is the Transit Director and Secretary/Treasurer of South East Area Transit (SEAT) in Muskingum and Guernsey County, Ohio.  SEAT moves people to provide hope in the Muskingum and Guernsey County communities and helps residents meet their travel needs by providing safe, dependable, courteous, and affordable public transportation.

Claudia Amrhein, Secretary/Treasurer

Ms. Amrhein is the General Manager and Secretary/Treasurer of the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) in Portage County, Ohio.  PARTA makes a positive impact on the Portage County community and helps residents meet their travel needs by providing safe, dependable, courteous, and affordable public transportation services.

Laura Koprowski, Executive Director

As the Executive Director of OPTA, Laura plans, leads, organizes, and strengthens the future for Ohio transit systems through the Association's legislative initiatives, outreach, media relations, annual statewide conference and professional development programs. In her role, Laura serves as a transportation and mobility subject matter expert, advocate and spokesperson for the Ohio public transit industry on the state and federal levels. She works closely with state agencies and elected officials; facilitates development of and carry out Board priorities. Laura has more than 15 years of notable experience in local, state and federal government relations and advocacy in transportation issues. She also successfully led communications and external affairs at the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).

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Ben Capelle, Vice President

Ben Capelle has been the CEO of Laketran since August 2017.  He joined Laketran in 2012 as Operations Manager, serving in that capacity until April 2016 when he was promoted  Deputy General Manager.

Blair Taseff, VP, Assoc. Members

Mr. Taseff is the Cleveland/Akron Regional Sales Manager for the Transportation Equipment Sales Corp. (TESCO).

Jim Ryan, VP, Assoc. Members

Mr. Ryan is the Cincinnati Area, KY Regional Sales Manager for GILLIG

Joe Adray - Vice Presdient Mobility Managers

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Learn more about getting involved in one of OPTA's Committees. Meet new people, develop your professional skills and contribute to the transit industry.


The OPTA Annual Conference will take place  April 20 - 22, 2020 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.