COTA C-pass

Let Us Drive You To Work, And Beyond

DOWNTOWN WORKERS CAN GO MORE PLACES

How much is a C-pass?

As an employer sponsored benefit, and thanks to a partnership between COTA, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and downtown property owners of the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, eligible workers can use their C-pass any day, any time, on any route, at no additional cost to them.

Who’s eligible for a C-pass?

You can get a C-pass if your employer is participating and you work in eligible buildings within the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District. Some, though not all, Franklin County and City of Columbus employees also qualify. To verify your eligibility, check with your employer or HR representative and check the list of eligible addresses. You can also contact a C-pass representative at 614-591-4184 or info@downtowncpass.com.

How do I register for a C-pass?

Employees should contact their Human Resources manager to register. Employers interested in signing up employees can get started by registering on the secure member portal.

How do I get my transit pass?

To pay your fare and board COTA buses, you will need a special C-pass credential. When your company account manager creates your C-pass account, they can enable your C-pass credential by choosing a COTA photo ID or smartphone option. The photo ID option requires you to pick up your smart card and the smartphone option requires downloading the COTA Connector app on your Android or Apple device.

If I already have a monthly pass and am eligible for a C-pass, can I get a refund for my monthly pass?

Refunds will not be issued for monthly passes.

Can I opt out of the C-pass program at any time?

Yes, you can. Simply notify your company account manager and they will remove you from the member portal.

How long is my C-pass valid?

Your C-pass will be active through December 31, 2025, as long as you are working for an eligible employer.

What happens if I leave my job?

Your pass will be deactivated on your last day of employment with an eligible company. If you begin employment with another eligible employer in downtown Columbus, your new employer will need to create a new account for you.

Can my family ride COTA with C-pass too?

No. Only the eligible employee can use C-pass.

What if I take the bus to work but then suddenly need to run home?

You can use the Emergency Ride Home program, a free service that assures commuters they won’t be stranded at work in the case of an emergency, illness or unexpected overtime.

Where can I find more information on C-pass?

You can visit downtowncpass.com or call 614-591-4184 to speak with a C-pass representative.

The C-pass program is a partnership of the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (CCSID), the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).

PRE-TAX PASSES

Not part of C-pass?

You can check with your Human Resource department to see if your company offers a pre-tax payroll deduction for COTA passes. Learn more.

IRS Regulation 132 offers substantial dollar savings to transit riders on their daily commute costs. These savings come from federal, state, and FICA taxes that are not accessed on transit costs when paid by employees on a pre-tax basis. The IRS establishes employers as the gatekeeper for this federally-approved program. Employers must deduct the cost of the pass each month from the employee’s paycheck.