Press Release9/29/2021

COTA Board of Trustees Approves Equitable and Simplified Fare Structure for Transit Customers

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees today approved a new fare structure that corrects digital inequity in transit prices while creating a simpler system. The goal of the new policy is to reduce barriers to transit access through fare affordability while creating a more seamless payment experience for customers.

The new structure either reduces or maintains transit fares for all customers by introducing:

  • Fare capping – ensures customers pay no more than $4.50 a day or $62 per month when they use the new fare management system launching later this fall;
  • Flat fare rate – eliminates the 75-cent upcharge on rush hour lines and makes the standard fare $2 on all lines;
  • Simplified Transfers – allows for two-hour accessibility for any fare paid in place of the one-way restriction;
  • Simplified children discounts – eliminates height specifications for children and allows children under 5 to board at no cost and children between ages 5 and 12 to board for $1.

COTA’s customer research data confirms customers who can only afford to pay by the trip are paying more than those who can afford to purchase a monthly pass, which is $62.

“COTA is updating our fare policy because it is the right thing to do,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “This new structure makes transit more equitable, accessible and affordable and ensures all customers can take advantage of the best rate available, regardless of their financial situation. I thank the Board of Trustees for supporting this valuable initiative.”

The new fare structure will be implemented with the launch of COTA’s new fare management system later in the fall. COTA’s fare management system uses account-based ticketing, which tracks all customers’ payments so that all can benefit from fare capping. More information about the new fare management system will be announced in the coming weeks.