Dear Friends and Neighbors,
A few weeks ago, COTA operators, vehicle maintenance technicians, administrative staff and leadership joined 800 community leaders at our annual luncheon. If you were able to join us, you learned of our latest enhancement to MOVE people – the COTA Connector app. This initial entrance into mobile fare payment was launched at our premiere event, and since that announcement less than a month ago, nearly 2,000 accounts have been created. You can download the app and create your own account in the Apple App Store or in Google Play.
A cashless, scan-and-go payment option has been on the list of “asks” from our community, and we were pleased to be able to provide this tool to incentivize new customers to try transit. A focus group of non-customers told us they would be willing to try public transit if a cashless option was made available. This is the market COTA Connector looks to immediately serve as we grow ridership to lessen congestion, reduce emissions, improve safety and provide access for all in our community.
Our goal is to make COTA easily accessible for everyone, whether that is with cash, card or mobile payment, and we are working toward that now. Enhancements to this initial roll out of COTA Connector will continue, where we will add daily, weekly or monthly passes many of our existing customers use. You will see our boarding options continue to expand as we strive to be the “ease of access” leader in mobility.
There are two upcoming days where COTA will be free to use. On Tuesday, November 5, COTA will provide unprecedented access to our community to use their voice. Elections are a vital part of our democracy and we believe mobility should not be a barrier to exercise this right. Therefore, we are proud to provide our system – COTA, COTA Plus, Mainstream – for free this one day. Use COTA to make your voice heard.
Similarly, we would not be able to exercise our right to vote if it was not for the service of the men and women of our armed services. On Veteran’s Day, November 11, COTA will once again be free to veterans and active duty military. We have been providing this to our community of service members and veterans for several years now, and it is a small token of appreciation for their service and sacrifice to our country.
While you are riding COTA, don’t be surprised if your operator is also a veteran. In fact, they may be wearing a hat recognizing their branch of service. Central Ohio has many veterans and active service members in our community – including many of our COTA employees. Join us on this Veteran’s Day, and say “thank you for your service” when you notice someone of veteran status.
You will also see a large COTA representation at the inaugural National Veterans Memorial and Museum 5 Mile Run & Walk, on Sunday, November 10, in Downtown Columbus. We hope you will join us in the race, or cheering others on that morning. Run with Purpose. Run as One. Finish with Pride.
To our team of veterans and service members, and to those across our many communities who have served, we thank you.
With warmest regards,
Joanna M. Pinkerton
COTA Connector Now Available