The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is committed to “Moving Every Life Forward” by continuing to address our community’s needs daily. You can find updates to COTA service schedules on COTA.com. You can also call COTA Customer Care at (614) 228-1776 and sign up for text or email alerts at COTA.com/alerts.
As of 9:15AM on March 19, 2020, COTA will not be charging fares for transit during the health crisis caused by COVID-19. This includes fixed route, Mainstream and COTA/PLUS on-demand services.
Customers are directed to use the rear entrances of transit vehicles when boarding, except when necessary for ADA and wheelchair accessibility. Customers are asked to practice social distancing on transit vehicles and sit at least one seat apart from other customers.
COTA has implemented daily and hourly sanitation of buses and asks that customers use the sanitizer provide on transit vehicles when necessary.
Governor DeWine’s ‘stay at home’ order created an exception for essential services, including public transit. Section 9 of the order states people may leave their home to perform work necessary to operate essential infrastructure and included public transportation in that list.
For a more comprehensive understanding of the following updates, please visit COTA’s Service Update Page.
For a Somali translation of the COTA updates, please click here.
Dynamic Service Beginning
COTA’s current emergency policy permits a maximum of 20 customers per bus. On the chance a bus becomes full, the operator will pass waiting customers at a transit stop. Beginning Wednesday, March 25th COTA will be deploying Dynamic Service if a customer happens to be ‘passed up’. COTA branded vehicles will be deployed strategically in areas of higher ridership, so if an operator has to ‘pass-up’ a waiting customer due to a bus being full, a back-up vehicle will be immediately dispatched to pick up the customer(s).
Mainstream/ADA Service continues full operations providing essential trips for ADA/elderly
If any ADA customer’s transit certification expires during the state of emergency, they will be automatically renewed for 90 days. There is no need to schedule a recertification at this time.
Crosstown Lines which will run at a reduced frequency:
22 OSU/Rickenbacker, 23 James/Stelzer, 24 Hamilton Rd, 31 Hudson, 32 N Broadway, 33 Henderson, 34 Morse/Henderson
Crosstown Lines which are temporarily suspended:
21 Hilliard-Rome, 25 Brice, 31 Hudson, 35 Dublin-Granville Road
Service is temporarily suspended on the following lines:
AirConnect, Night Owl, all Rush Hour lines: Arlington / 1st, 41 Crosswood/Polaris, 42 Sharon Woods, 43 Westerville, 44 Easton, 45 New Albany, 46 Gahanna, 51 Reynoldsburg, 52 Canal Winchester, 61 Grove City, 71 Hilliard, 72 Tuttle, 73 Dublin, 74 Smoky Row
Customers can expect the following as of March 19, 2020:
COTA is also running regular or additional service in areas where local students travel to school to get free meals. All children receiving meals can board COTA at no fare. More information can be found by clicking here.
Click here for a list of food pantries on COTA transit lines. On the second page, there is a detailed map of the COTA transit lines that stop near food pantries.
C-pass users can still contact C-pass customer service during normal business hours (9AM-5PM) via email at email@example.com or by phone (614) 591-4184. C-pass users will receive an email should there be any major changes to the program or customer service hours.
Current DCT Route and Service Information as of 3/25/2020
ALL RUNS of the DCT Green Route are suspended as of Thursday, March 26th, 2020. Currently, next day FREE Demand Response can be requested for essential trips.
During the emergency virus crisis until further notice:
All DCT fares will be FREE for General Public within Delaware County.
Riders must still call in advance before noon the previous weekday to request a Demand Response ride. Rides are as driver and vehicle availability permits.
All Delaware City Routes will be reduced to the 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am and 11:30am runs. This will allow for early shopping times for elderly set up by some stores.
DURING THIS CRISIS, DCT ASKS THAT YOU LIMIT YOUR DCT TRIPS TO ESSENTIAL TRAVEL. EXAMPLES OF ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ARE:
* To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members.
* To and from work when no other alternatives are available.
* To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members.
* To care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
* To or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
* To return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
* Required by law enforcement or court order.
Columbus Yellow Cab is continuing to prioritize the health and safety of the community. They are making sure CYC drivers and riders are informed on how to protect themselves and others when sharing the ride through their services. Currently, Columbus Yellow Cab is still operating 24 hours a day seven days a week. Please keep in mind that service levels could be impacted due to high call volume and wait times could be excessive.
Riders and drivers will be suspended from driving or refused transportation by CYC until they are medically cleared, if the company is notified of a rider (or driver) testing positive for COVID-19. CYC will follow guidance from the CDC and local health officials to identify other individuals who may have been impacted.
CYC is following updates on COVID-19, including guidance from the CDC and local health officials. The company has implemented an internal task force dedicated solely to this issue and will continue to take actions necessary to help protect the community. CYC has been in touch with drivers to make sure they have the latest guidance from the CDC on how to best protect themselves.
Lyft removed their pool option, only allowing single riders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Lyft is continuing to support our community by staying active and sent an emailed update to users on March 21, 2020. All riders and drivers are asked to stay home if they are sick and should work with a medical professional to discuss transportation options if they need to see a doctor. Per the CDC and local health officials, anyone who suspects they may have or is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not use ridesharing.
While ridership is down, Lyft is using its services to deliver medical supplies, providing access to medical transportation, and looking for ways it can support low-income individuals who need transportation assistance during this time. Lyft is also using its services for food delivery to those in need, including children in need and home-bound older adults. Lyft is also using their platform to alert riders and drivers about key safety and public health updates, including curfews and shelter-in-place orders through the Lyft App.
The LyftUp campaign was initiated to donate rides to people in need and medical personnel. They are working with many partners on the initiative including United Way, World Central Kitchen, Team Rubicon, and others. For more information on the services Lyft is providing, visit their website. Governments, non-profits, and healthcare entities can reach out to the company for support. Philanthropic foundations can support Lyft’s new initiatives by reaching out to LyftUpCovid19Funding@lyft.com.
SHARE is in the business of moving people to connect them to jobs, education, and healthcare. Due to the COVID-19 virus and the self-quarantining people are doing, they are dynamically changing their model to assist those most vulnerable. SHARE is now available for any logistics capacity you need. Deliveries of groceries, pharmaceuticals through ScriptDrop, daily supplies, etc. can all easily be managed by SHARE’s technology, vehicles, and drivers. If your residents, workforce, or patients could utilize a delivery service like this, let them know by contacting them through their website.
EmpowerBus is not currently open to the public and does not intend to open to the public at this time. However, they do wish to express to current users that they are are maintaining a small service to get daily riders to and from work. Empowerbus is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and implementing mandates given by Federal, State, and City authorities.
The CoGo Bike Share team shared an email on Friday, March 13, 2020 to inform Central Ohio that CoGo bikes are still able to be used and that they are taking disinfecting seriously. The CoGo team is increasing cleaning protocols by disinfecting bikes each time they arrive in the CoGo depot. The team is also disinfecting high-contact surfaces on the vans used to transfer bikes from the depot to stations. They are also using gloves when handling bikes. They are working with local health officials to take necessary steps to protect the community.
The CoGo team advised that users avoid contact with individuals who are sick, continue to wash your hands, utilize hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face to protect yourself and those around you from the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, March 24th, Spin paused scooter operations in Columbus. Spin apologizes to the community for having to make this hard decision. Their goal is for Spin to remain a trusted and valued partner for cities, even when circumstances intervene beyond their control. For more information, visit their blog post.
Spin scooters announced in a March 13, 2020 blog post that they are continuously monitoring updates and recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). They will update riders if anything changes. The Spin team is increasing the frequency of scooter cleanings to every time they enter a warehouse. All Spin employees will be using gloves for scooter handling. Spin also shared several steps they are taking to support the health and wellness of their hourly workers. The Spin team recommends that users disinfect scooter handles before and after rides, that riders continually wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, and they suggest gloves as a health precaution.
Bird is temporarily reducing the fleet size in Columbus to help discourage non-critical use of their scooters. Bird is doing so to focus on the health and safety of the communities in which they operate in. They will continue close dialogue with city officials and will again offer a full fleet of safe, clean transportation alternatives as soon as possible.
Bird scooters have increased the frequency of scooter cleaning in response to the spread of COVID-19. They are continually checking updates from the CDC and WHO guidance on how to support communities during this health crisis. You can see their full blog post here.
Lime scooters are among the micromobility providers still active in Central Ohio. The company sent out an email on March 12, 2020 advising how users can protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus. They encourage users to wipe down public surfaces, including shared scooters and bikes before riding them. The company also suggested using gloves as a precaution as well as a reminder to wash hands before and after riding shared mobility devices.
Go outdoors, go for a walk, visit a park, and other activity ideas to maintain physical and mental health. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/covid-19-checklists/coping-with-covid-19-restrictions-covid-19-checklist
Indoor and Outdoor Family Activities to Do During COVID-19. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/covid-19-checklists/family-activities-to-try-during-closures-covid-19