COTA Services for Ohio State University Students
For students enrolled at The Ohio State University, COTA offers three pass programs that vary based on a student’s unique circumstances and mobility needs.
1) Standard Program (Ohio State administered)
This program is open to students who are enrolled full-time at the Columbus campus. As part of the pass program, Ohio State students can use their BuckID for unlimited COTA access. Ridership privileges start five days before the start of the semester and continue until the first day of class the following semester.
The cost of this pass is folded into a student’s Ohio State tuition as the $13.50 COTA fee.
2) Standard Opt-In Program (COTA administered)
This program is designed to bridge a semester in which a student is not enrolled, which usually applies to the summer but can be used for any semester. This opt-in pass covers roughly four months (depending on the semester) and costs $62 — a 75 percent discount compared to buying monthly passes.
In order to qualify for this discounted opt-in pass, students must have been eligible to ride via the Standard Program the prior semester. To opt in, simply bring your BuckID to COTA’s Customer Experience Center (33 N. High St.) and pay the $62 fee. Our team will check your eligibility and process your payment.
Students do not need to wait until their semester begins to opt in, so make a trip to COTA’s Customer Experience Center (33 N. High St.) whenever it is convenient to do so. Like COTA’s Standard Program, ridership privileges last until the first day of class the following semester.
3) Special COVID-19 Spring 2021 Opt-In Program (COTA administered)
Spring 2021 is a unique semester for many Ohio State students who attended online-only classes in Autumn 2020 and, thus, would typically not be eligible for the Spring Standard Opt-In Program. To better serve students in this position, COTA waived the prior semester in-class requirement and reduced Opt-In Program price to $13.50 (typically $62).
Essentially, this Special COVID-19 Spring 2021 Opt-In Program provides all of the benefits of the Standard Opt-In Program, but it is less expensive ($13.50) and does not require that a student was enrolled for in-person classes in Autumn 2020. Like COTA’s Standard Program, ridership privileges last until the first day of class the following semester.
Need a ride to the COTA Customer Experience Center to opt-in? Complete the online form to reserve a date and time to pick-up a one-time complimentary COTA day pass, while supplies last, through Ohio State’s Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services.
Faculty and Staff Program
Faculty and staff at The Ohio State University are eligible for COTA ridership privileges through a $58 pre-tax payroll deduction. After enrolling in payroll deduction, the program will require participating employees to obtain a new BuckID.
Faculty and staff may receive a $4 discount through payroll deduction, which will also be assessed pre-tax. 31-DayPasses will also be available for purchase at select Ohio State locations.
All employees wishing to participate must use the Employee Self Service via Ohio State to elect to have a pre-tax deduction taken from their pay each month. Directions on starting and stopping COTA deductions.
Lines Around Campus
Line 1 can take you to Riverside Methodist Hospital and to shopping and dining options along Olentangy River Road and Kenny and Bethel roads to the west. Or, you can take it south along High Street through the Short North, Downtown Columbus , German Village and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Line 2 runs along High Street and can connect you with eclectic neighborhoods such as the Short North, Downtown Columbus, Clintonville and Bexley.
Take the 102 north along High Street from select stops to points north of Clintonville such as Graceland Shopping Center, charming historic downtown Worthington with its bustling Saturday morning farmers’ market during the growing season, and Polaris Fashion Place. The 102 is a limited-service line, meaning it picks up and drops off passengers only at select stops so it can travel to its endpoint destination faster.
From Summit Street a few blocks east of Ohio State’s campus, take Line 4 to up-and-coming Italian Village, the Short North, Downtown Columbus, and along Indianola in Clintonville to the north.
Take Line 8 south along Neil Avenue to the Arena District and Columbus Clippers and Blue Jackets games. It then travels through the east side of Downtown Columbus near Columbus State Community College, the Columbus College of Art & Design and the Columbus Museum of Art. Line 8 buses then swing back to the west, passing Columbus Commons before traveling south through Merion Village, Hungarian Village and points south.
NightOWL runs along High Street between Whetstone Park and Broad Street Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, 7 p.m.-3 a.m.
Line 22 serves destinations such as Rickenbacker Airport and Grandview Yard.
Line 31 connects campus with the popular Grandview Heights area to the west and the mega-shopping destination Easton Town Center to the east.
Take lines 1, 2 or 4 downtown to catch the AirConnect, which runs between downtown and John Glenn International Airport year-round.
Connecting to CABS
Connecting to COTA using Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) is easy. Ride CABS through campus to connect to COTA bus routes surrounding campus. Once connected to a COTA bus, your options are limitless!
Save your data! With free Wi-Fi, staying connected is now easier than ever. Once aboard the bus, log in to COTA’s passenger Wi-Fi for unlimited access.