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.
Starting Tuesday, June 9th, COTA will resume its regular fixed-route service in the downtown Columbus area. Columbus Division of Police had declared an emergency due to recent demonstrations, requiring COTA to reroute 14 transit lines since May 30. This impacted Lines 1-12, 102 and CMAX.
In addition to resuming transit service in the area, transfer points will also be held at their regular locations downtown, as well as the 8 p.m. Nightly Line-up.
COTA Mainstream will also resume service in downtown Columbus starting tomorrow morning.
COTA has also added early morning service to six more frequent and crosstown transit lines, to meet growing workforce needs in the region. Lines 3, 5, 7, 31 and 32 now run from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, which is two hours earlier than they have been operating. Line 12 will begin service at 7 a.m., which is one hour earlier.
Customers can view the updated timetables right now at COTA.com. Anyone needing help planning their trip can call COTA Customer Care at (614) 228-1776.
On Tuesday, May 26, COTA will launch a COTA//Plus microtransit service to complement existing transit options during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new COTA//Plus option is an on-demand pilot project to better serve northeast Franklin County customers impacted by COVID-19 service changes. The service is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week and will require no fare in accordance with COTA’s current emergency operations. This is the second COTA//Plus pilot launched by COTA in the past year. For details on this on-demand service, check out their FAQ sheet.
Starting Tuesday, May 5, COTA will add early-morning weekday service to six high-ridership service lines. Beginning Tuesday, Lines 1, 2, 8, 10, 22 and CMAX will run daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., beginning two hours earlier than they have been operating. COTA continues to adjust service to provide essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also easing the demand on front line employees, such as transit operators.
Starting Monday, April 27, COTA will begin running new service to better meet the current essential travel needs of customers while reducing demands on employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Service will be consistent seven days a week, running from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Frequency will be reduced on some lines but maintained on those experiencing higher ridership.
These service changes will be in effect as long as they meet the current state of demand. COTA will continue to work closely with community partners, city, state and federal leaders to evaluate service and ridership needs on a daily basis.
Beginning Wednesday, April 15, COTA will require customers to wear masks.
To help protect customers and COTA employees from the spread of Coronavirus, COTA is taking the important step of requiring customers to wear masks. Masks can be either medical or homemade and can include scarves or bandanas. They must fully cover the nose and mouth.
Below are guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
CDC’S RECOMMENDATION REGARDING THE USE OF CLOTH MASKS
CDC’S HOW TO WEAR AND CREATE A MASK
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S MASK DOS AND DON’TS
The CDC and ODH have both stated that masks help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. We are following their guidance to protect customers and employees.
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.
As of 9:15 a.m. 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.
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, 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.
Due to the recent Governor’s order and overcrowding on Fixed Routes, effective Monday, April 13th, 2020
All city Fixed Routes will be suspended, in addition to the Green Route that was previously suspended. Please call to request a Demand Response ride for ESSENTIAL TRIPS ONLY.
During the emergency virus crisis until further notice:
All DCT fares will be FREE for General Public within Delaware County.
DCT will not provide any non-essential trips during this time.
DCT will limit the amount of riders on each bus.
Riders must still call 740-363-3355 or toll free at 1-877-363-DATA (3282) in advance before noon the previous weekday to request a Demand Response ride.
Rides are as driver and vehicle availability permits.
Columbus Yellow Cab cares for their drivers and passenger’s safety. For this reason, Columbus Yellow Cab will no longer be operating 24 hours a day. Beginning Sunday June 28, 2020, they will close each day at 11 PM and reopen at 6 AM.
They are focusing their resources and efforts to remain a trusted on-time provider. They will be evaluating the situation weekly for next steps based on their coordinated efforts.
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 closing operations in Central Ohio as of April 7, 2020 after experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. This organization has provided wonderful mobility services to our community and will be missed greatly.
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 and masks 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.
Spin Scooters are active again in Columbus. 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.
Lime scooters are also active in Columbus. You can check their blog and social media pages for updates on their service and how they are protecting the community from the spread of COVID-19.
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.
The MORPC Gohio Commute Vanpool Program continues to operate through the health crisis. Many of MORPC’s vanpools are occupied by essential personnel driving to hospitals in Central Ohio.
MORPC and our van provider Enterprise is following updates on COVID-19, including guidance from the CDC. All vanpools have been provided with a keep safe kit to help them keep their vans sanitized and masks to wear while in the van. Enterprise has been in touch with all vanpool groups to provide guidance on the best way to protect themselves while vanpooling to work.
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