Press Release10/3/2019

COTA Launches Connector Mobile Payment Option

COTA today announced the availability of Connector, an important enhancement in how riders can access COTA service without using cash. Customers can set up an account to electronically transfer any amount of money from their bank or credit card to a Connector account, and board COTA using the Connector App or a “smart” card. The Connector App can be downloaded to mobile devices from the Apple Store and Google Play.

“We believe this first iteration of digital payment will draw new customers to COTA, specifically those who have held back from riding public transportation because they want the convenience of cash-free payment,” said Joanna M. Pinkerton, COTA President/CEO, during the organization’s annual luncheon. “A recent focus group of non-customers said they were more likely to ride COTA if there was a mobile-payment option.”

To utilize the service, customers create an account on or directly in the Connector App, and load money electronically using either a credit card, debit card or a direct withdrawal from a bank or credit union. By linking their Connector account to a bank, credit union or credit card, money can be automatically loaded to a rider’s Connector Card or Connector App as well.

Riders can then use the Connector App, scanning it on the bus fare box and money is deducted from the Connector account to pay for the ride. Alternatively, those who do not have a mobile device or do not want to use a mobile app can instead get a Connector Smart Card at COTA’s temporary sales office at 25 E. Rich Street, or order one on to have it mailed to them directly. Riders then “tap” that card on the fare box to pay the fare.

Daily and regular riders currently using a pass should continue to do so in order to receive the best fare. It is COTA’s goal to establish the national standard for transit systems using mobile app and cashless payments.