Reduced Fare For Fixed-Route Service

Independence at Half the Price

If you are a rider with a disability, we can help you get you to where you need to go, whether it is the library, grocery store, shopping centers, service agencies and most hospitals within your community we offer safe, affordable, and reliable service at a 50% discount on our fixed route services.
All you need is a COTA Reduced Fare Key ID CardView the official brochure.


  • Fixed-route buses lower to the curb to make boarding easier.
  • Vehicles have ramps that extend for wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
  • Bus stops are announced and displayed onboard fixed-route buses, so you know the next bus stop.
  • Service animals are welcome on all COTA vehicles.
  • Your Personal Care Attendant (PCA) boards free. Just show your valid COTA ID card marked “YES” for the PCA free ride.

How do I Qualify?

In compliance with section 5(m) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1974, COTA adopted the following definition of a person with a disability to be eligible for Reduced Fare purposes:

Disability means, with respect to an individual, a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Major life activities means functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.

COTA recognizes eight categories of disabilities:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Neurosensory Disorders
  • Pulmonary Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Treatment Induced Disabilities
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Psychiatric Disorders

A person is not considered eligible for Reduced Fare, if the sole disability is:

  • Any physical, mental, or psychological disability of less than two months duration
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Controlled epilepsy
  • Drug and/or alcohol dependency

Any physical, mental, or psychological incapacity or disability that causes a person to have difficulty in utilizing mass transportation must be certified by a licensed professional.

COTA, at its own expense, has the right to require a physical examination of a person seeking reduced fares from a medical professional, when and so often as it may be reasonably required. COTA’s examination does not replace certification by the applicant’s physician.

For detailed information regarding COTA’s recognition of disabilities for the Reduced Fare Program, please download the Reduced Fare Program form.

How do I apply for a Reduced Fare Key Card to Ride Fixed-Route Service

  • Download the Reduced Fare Program form or request an application by mail by calling (614) 228-1776.
  • Bring the completed form to COTA Pass Sales Office in the William J. Lhota Building at 33 N. High Street along with valid photo ID and proof of disability (Medicare card, Social Security Award letter or Veteran Disability Award letter).

For more information, call Customer Service at: (614) 228-1776.

Riders with disabilities ride fixed-route service at half price.

Fare Option Standard Fare Reduced Fare
One-Way Fare $2.00 $1.00
DayPass $4.50 $2.25
31-Day Pass $62.00 $31.00

You must have a Reduced Fare Key Card issued by COTA to qualify. Reduced Fare Key Cards are only issued to:

  • Riders with disabilities
  • Medicare card holders
  • Veterans with a disability rating for aid and attendance, or a service-connected disability with a rating level of 80 percent or higher

Customers who qualify for a COTA discount ID can ride COTA fixed-route service at half the price of regular fare and do not pay any upcharge for Express lines. Customers must present the COTA ID when they board the bus to receive the discount.

Reduced Fare Passes are sold 24-hours a day at our Ticket Vending Machine or at Pass Sales open Mon-Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm. Both are located at 33 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

Reduced Fare Tickets and Passes are not sold on the buses.

For more information, call Customer Service at: (614) 228-1776