Press Release1/23/2019

COTA Board Approves Resolution to Provide Free Fares to Government Workers Impacted by Shutdown

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees approved a resolution today to provide free fares to federal workers impacted by the government shutdown. The initiative provides a 31-day Frequent/Standard or Rush Hour pass to all employees impacted by the shutdown. Eligible federal workers are asked to show their government ID and furlough letter to obtain the free pass.

The free fares to eligible federal employees begins today. Government employees wishing to access this benefit can bring their government ID and notice of furlough to COTA’s Pass Sales Office on the first floor of 33 N. High St., Columbus, OH, between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“This is an unprecedented time in our country, and many in our community are feeling the financial effects of a situation beyond their control. We hope that providing an accessible mobility option during this stressful time will provide some relief to these hard working public servants and their families,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna Pinkerton. “When the community needs us, COTA is there.”

The cost of a 31-day Frequent/Standard pass is $62 and Rush Hour passes are $85. The approved resolution waives these costs for eligible impacted federal workers.

Should the shutdown come to a conclusion, the remaining balance of the 31-day pass will still be valid.

“When the shutdown ends, the financial burden will continue for those impacted and their families. This benefit provides some relief beyond the conclusion of the shutdown,” Pinkerton said.

COTA is also leading efforts to create a “mobility bank” for workers affected by the shutdown. Discussions are underway to integrate COTA’s free fares with benefits for federal workers from the community’s private mobility providers.

The board amended the resolution offering free fares to also include federal government contract workers impacted by the shutdown. A letter from their employer indicating their furlough/non-work status is required.

For more information, call customer service at (614) 228-1776 and to sign up for rider alerts.