Accessible Services

Assisting People with Disabilities

Helping to Empower Your Independence

COTA is committed to providing fast, reliable and safe transportation to all of its customers. And persons with disabilities may qualify for COTA’s fixed-route services for half price. Whatever your destination — library, grocery store, shopping center or service agency, COTA can help get you there by showing your Reduced Fare Key ID Card.

COTA fixed-route buses feature:

  • A “kneeling function” that lowers the front of the bus for easier boarding
  • Ramps or lifts that accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices
  • Bus stop announcements and displays
  • Free boarding for Personal Care Attendants (with a valid COTA ID card)

Increasing your possibilities. Lowering your fares.

Riders with disabilities can get a Reduced Fare Key ID Card and ride COTA fixed-route buses at half price.

Reduced Fare Key Cards are issued only to:

  • Riders with disabilities
  • Medicare card holders
  • Veterans
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

People who qualify for a COTA discount ID pay half price and do not pay any upcharge for Express lines. To receive the discount, you must present the COTA discount ID when boarding.

How Do You Get a Reduced Fare Key ID Card?

The Reduced Fare Program for riders with a disability uses the following definition of disability (in compliance with section 5(m) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1974:

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 using mass transportation must be certified by a licensed professional. COTA, at its own expense, has the right to require a person seeking reduced fares to have physical examination 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 about COTA’s recognition of disabilities for the Reduced Fare Program, please download the Reduced Fare Program form.

How Do You Apply for a Reduced Fare Key ID Card?

COTA Customer Experience Center
William J. Lhota Building
33 N. High Street
Columbus, Ohio

Reduced Fare Tickets and Passes are not sold on the buses, but are sold 24-hours-a-day at our Ticket Vending Machine or at the Customer Experience Center, which is open Mon.-Fri. 8:00am to 5:00pm. Both are located at 33 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215. For more information, call Customer Care at 614-228-1776.

ADA Compliance

COTA is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in all of its programs and services. The ADA prohibits discrimination against an individual with a disability in connection with the provision of transportation service. {§ 37.5(a)}. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of a disability may file a formal complaint with COTA no later than 180 calendar days after the alleged discrimination occurred by filling out COTA’s ADA Complaint Form and forwarding the completed form by Electronic mail or postal service to:

Central Ohio Transit Authority
Attn: ADA Coordinator
33 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Complaints may also be taken by phone at 614-228-1776, 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
If you have any questions regarding COTA’s ADA policy you may contact COTA’s ADA Coordinator by email (ADAcoordinator@cota.com) or by phone at 614-308-4338

Reasonable Modification

COTA provides reasonable modification to policies and procedures to customers to ensure they can effectively use the agency’s transit services. Individuals requesting a modification should clearly describe what they need in order to use COTA bus and paratransit services. To make a request, please contact the:

COTA Mobility Coordinator
Email: PullinsTL@cota.com
Phone: 614-275-5833
Address:
Attn. Mobility Coordinator
Central Ohio Transit Authority
1330 Fields Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Please note, COTA may deny a requested modification if:

  1. The modification will fundamentally alter the nature of service, program, or activity;
  2. The modification will result in a direct threat to the health and safety of others;
  3. The individual is able to use the service, program or activity for its intended purpose without the requested modification, or;
  4. The modification will result in undue financial or administrative burden on COTA.