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COTA will return to fares beginning January 11

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) will soon reinstate fares for customers after temporarily suspending them at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fares will resume Jan. 11 on all fixed-route transit lines and COTA//Plus services, and Feb. 1 for COTA Mainstream and Mainstream On-Demand.

Beginning Dec. 14, customers will be able to purchase new passes or have their expired pass replaced at no cost at the COTA Customer Experience Center.

COTA temporarily suspended fares in March when transit vehicles began requiring rear-door boarding. Since then, COTA has put in place multiple measures to protect the health of all aboard transit vehicles.

  • Masks are required for all customers
  • Virus-killing disinfectants and long-lasting Aegis Microbe Shield, an antimicrobial solution commonly used in the hospital and food industries, are applied to every vehicle through spraying, fogging, and intense cleaning of every surface.
  • All COTA vehicles employ strong ventilation systems, ensuring fresh air is circulated inside vehicles every minute.
  • All fixed-route transit vehicles are temporarily limited to 20 customers. COTA//Plus and Mainstream vehicles are limited to two customers (or more if a family unit).
  • Additional vehicles are being added to support social distancing on high ridership lines.

To learn how you can get ready for fares by replacing Cards and Passes or getting new ones, please visit the links below.

For more information, please contact Customer Care at (614) 228-1776.

Replacing your Card

As we move forward and begin accepting fares, COTA wants to help you get ready. Since your COTA Senior or Key ID card hasn’t been used in a while, it may be expired or missing. But there’s good news. If your card is old or lost, you can replace it by following the simple steps below. You do not have to exchange your card in person. Please feel free to do so from the comfort of your home!

  • Is your card expired or lost? COTA will accept expired ID cards (Senior or Key) through December 31, 2021. Simply show your card to the Operator to receive your discounted fare. If you need to replace your card, click on the button below to request a replacement form to be sent to your email address. You can also download, print and fill out and mail a replacement form to the Customer Experience Center.  Or drop off the form in person beginning December 14th. If you need assistance with the form, you can call Customer Care at (614) 228-1776 and speak with a Customer Care Representative to complete the form over the phone. After the form is received, COTA will mail you a replacement card.
  • Do you need a new card for the first time? You can stop by the Customer Experience Center starting December 14th. If you need a Senior Card, please bring a photo ID and proof of your birth date (Driver’s License, State ID, or Birth Certificate). If you need a Key Card, please bring a photo ID, social security number verification, and proof of disability (Medicare Card, Social Security Disability Award Letter, VA Disability Award Letter with minimum 80% disability or reduced fare application completed by a licensed medical professional).
Replace my card online!

Replacing your Pass

Now that COTA is ready to accept fares, we want to make sure you have what you need to get onboard. Maybe you need a new pass or maybe your old pass went unused and has expired. If that’s the case, here are a couple options to help you get ready to ride.

  • Do you need a new pass? You can buy a new COTA pass at the Customer Experience Center or one of our Ticket Vending Machines (Customer Experience Center at 33 N. High St, the COTA North Terminal at 33 W. Spring St., Northland Transit Center, Easton Transit Center, and at John Glenn International Airport). You can also purchase a pass at any participating Kroger and Giant Eagle locations.
  • Do you have an unused or partially used pass that’s expired? You can mail your pass to our Customer Experience Center (address below) and we will mail a new pass back to you. If needed, you can also come to the COTA Customer Experience Center to exchange your pass at no cost.

COTA Customer Experience Center

33 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
(614) 228-1776.