The Ohio State University

COTA Serves the OSU Community

Thanks to the OSU/COTA Partnership, undergraduate, graduate and professional students have unlimited access to COTA’s entire bus system just by swiping their BuckID when boarding.

Students pay a semester fee of $13.50 included in tuition for unlimited bus rides. Students can have immediate and convenient access to shopping, employment and entertainment destinations in Columbus and throughout Franklin County.

Major COTA System Enhancements Launch May 1 – Plan Your New Trip

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is launching a redesigned bus network on May 1. Service in the Ohio State area will increase along Lane Avenue, High Street, King Avenue, and to the Wexner Medical Center, by discontinuing service in areas well-served by CABS including Woodruff Avenue and College Road. This coordinated effort aims to reduce congestion on campus and improve connectivity between COTA and CABS. To plan your new trip, visit COTA.com/TSR.


(Click map for zoomable PDF version)

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Q&A
  • What is the COTA Transit System Redesign (TSR)?
    • Bus service throughout the region will be enhanced when the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) launches a redesigned bus network on May 1. The redesign is a complete overhaul of the COTA network that will provide faster service, simplified routes, increased frequency, expanded weekend service, and connections to more places. 
  • How does the COTA TSR affect Ohio State’s CABS routes?
    • The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is launching a redesigned bus network on May 1. Service in the Ohio State area will increase along Lane Avenue, High Street, King Avenue, and to the Wexner Medical Center, by discontinuing service in areas well-served by CABS including Woodruff Avenue and College Road. This coordinated effort aims to reduce congestion on campus and improve connectivity between COTA and CABS. To plan your new trip, visit COTA.com/TSR.
    • COTA and The Ohio State University continue to have a strong working relationship and both transit systems have investigated future transportation options in an effort to best serve riders through a comprehensive and cohesive transportation network. This coordinated effort supports traffic flow and assists the movement of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. It also supports COTA’s goal of simplifying service, and providing fast, efficient transportation to and from Ohio State.
    • Planning efforts are currently underway for the upcoming CABS service year. CABS operations are reviewed on an annual basis and information about updates will be made available prior to the beginning of the next academic year so that customers can make informed decisions about their travel options on campus. 
  • What tools are available to help me determine which route I should take?
    • ​To learn more about changes to COTA’s network beginning on May 1:
      • Call (614) 308-4400 to speak with customer service reps
      • Visit COTA.com/TSR to plan your new trip and view new maps
      • Email questions to TSR@COTA.com  
  • Will the 52 Express from The Ohio State University to the John Glenn Columbus International Airport continue to run?
    •  Yes, the OSU-Air route will continue to be available on select dates around Ohio State breaks and holidays.
  • How have you incorporated ADA into your route planning?
    • Yes. In addition, COTA’s current Mainstream customers will not experience any changes in service. The biggest benefit to riders with disabilities will be increased service on the weekends, which will result in more available weekend trip times on Mainstream.
  •  Can I still use my BuckID to ride COTA?
    •  Yes, Ohio State students will continue to use their BuckID to ride.
  •   Are COTA fees changing?
    •   Not at this time. COTA and OSU hope to renew their partnership in 2017. 
  •    Why do I have to pay the same COTA fee if the routes / stops are changing and I have to walk farther to access COTA?
    •  While COTA service in the OSU area will look different as of May 1, customers will experience new connections and benefits, including:
    • High frequency service (every 15 minutes or better) along High Street, Lane Avenue, 12th Avenue and Neil Avenue.
    •   A direct connection between the Medical Center, the Ohio Union and Easton, every 30 minutes.
    • A connection between Campus and Grandview Yard, seven days a week.
    • More connections from the east side to/from campus:
    • A direct connection to the Ohio Union from the Southside and Near East along Ohio and Champion.
    • A direct connection to campus from the Eastside along East Livingston.
    • All-day, limited stop/express service between Downtown and Worthington every 30 minutes, with stops along High Street near campus.
  • The last time COTA made route changes along High Street, forums were held on campus so that customers could provide feedback. Why were there no forums for these changes?
    • ​More than 50 public comment meetings were held throughout the community in 2014 and 2015, including more than 20 meetings specifically to seek comment on the TSR. A public comment meeting was held at the Northwood-High Building near OSU in March 2014, and TSR information was shared during a public meeting at the Ohio Union on our Next Generation (NextGen) planning effort in February 2017.
  • Is there an opportunity to change any of the transit system redesign plans?
    • ​ The redesign has been finalized for May 1, and COTA is in the public education phase about the changes. However, COTA always accepts public comments, and will continue to make adjustments to its service three times a year in January, May and September to fine-tune and improve service. 
  •  Who should I contact if I have questions?
    • ​ If you have additional questions, please contact COTA at TSR@cota.com or call 614-308-4400.