How to Ride

Getting you on board and on your way

New to riding COTA? Not sure where to start? Follow these tips on finding stops and schedules, checking routes, paying fares and more for your next commute or adventure.



Board and Pay
  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes early.
  • Stand near the bus stop sign.
  • Check the bus header sign for its destination.
  • COTA offers multiple convenient ways to pay your fare, including:
  • Request free transfer passes, which are good for up to two hours, from the operator.


  • Follow COTA’s Conduct Policy.
  • Pay attention to stops being announced ahead of time.
  • Just prior to your destination, signal operator to stop by pulling the yellow cord above the window.
  • Exit through the back door to help keep buses running on time.


Other Tips to Make Your Ride Easier

  • Emergency Rides: Don’t get stranded at work because of an emergency, illness, or unexpected overtime. The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has a free service to help. Learn more.
  • Unlimited Downtown Access: Enjoy unlimited access to the entire COTA bus system with the Downtown C-pass. Eligible workers and residents can use C-pass any day, any time, on any route thanks to MORPC, COTA, and Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District downtown property owners. Read details.

The chart below provides the current span of service data for the fixed route system. Please note that these times are approximates.

Weekdays Frequent 5 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Standard 5 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Rush Hour AM and PM peak travel time periods only
Zoo Bus 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday Frequent 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Standard 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Zoo Bus 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday Frequent 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Standard 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Zoo Bus 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Holiday Service Days
COTA operates on a Sunday schedule for the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Please be advised that some lines operate with reduced frequencies during Sunday schedules. We encourage customers to check our schedules, plan trips via the Transit app or use our Trip Planner when planning routes on weekends or holiday service days. You can also contact COTA’s Customer Care team for assistance.



It’s easy to ride your bike and use COTA to get around Central Ohio. Your bike rides for free, and it takes just a few moments to load it on one of the two racks at the front of the bus.




  • Remove all loose items from your bike.
  • Make sure the operator knows you want to load your bike.
  • Load your bike from the curb side.


  • Choose the closest open bike rack to the bus.
  • Squeeze the bike rack handle to release the latch and lower the rack.
  • Put your bike into the rack’s wheel wells.
  • Make sure your front tire is on the same end as the support arm.
  • Raise and pull the support arm up and over the bike’s front tire.


  • When you’re close to your stop, remind the operator that you need to unload your bike.
  • Raise the support arm off the front tire and lower it out of the way.
  • Lift your bike out of the rack. If yours was the only bike on the rack, return the rack to the upright and locked position.
  • Signal the bus driver that you have removed your bike.

If a bike rack is full, ask the driver to bring your bike on board. Note, however, that it is your driver’s decision. The driver knows the route and may refuse your request to avoid crowded conditions further along the route.

Acceptable Bike Size Dimensions:

Max. Weight 55lbs
Max. Tire Width 3”
Wheel Diameter (Min/Max) 16” to 29”

Shared fleet mobility options

Shared fleet bikes (CoGo) and e-scooters (Bird, Lime, etc.) are not allowed on the bus at this time.

Lost & Found

Don’t forget to remind the Operator that you’ll need to unload your bike when your bus trip ends. If for some reason you forget your bike, please call us at 614-228-1776, click here for more information on how to retrieve your bike.

For safety reasons, operators cannot assist customers with the bike rack. You must be able to load and unload your bike correctly without the operator’s assistance. Bikes are mounted at the user’s risk. COTA is not responsible for any theft or damage while the bike is mounted on the rack or located at any COTA facility. If you have questions or would like to schedule a Bike & Bus demonstration at your local event, please contact Customer Service.




Park and Ride

Sit back and enjoy the ride

Park and Ride Brochure

Free parking is available at COTA Park & Rides conveniently located throughout Central Ohio.

For more information about Park & Rides or to report a safety hazard or other issue, please contact Customer Service.

Broad & Southhampton Park & Ride W Broad St & S Southampton Ave, Columbus, OH 43204 10
Canal Winchester Park & Ride 6600 Trillium Ave., Canal Winchester, OH 43110 25, 52
Crosswoods Park & Ride 7460 Huntington Park Dr, Columbus, OH 43235 41, 102
Delawanda Park & Ride 4939 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214 2, 33, 34, 102
Dublin Park & Ride 4450 Dale Dr, Dublin, OH 43017 73, Zoo Bus
Easton Transit Center + Park & Ride 4260 Stelzer Road Columbus, OH 43230 7, 9, 23, 24, 25, 31, 32, 34, 35, 44, 45
Great Southern Park & Ride 3773 S High St, Columbus, OH 43207 8, COTA//Plus Grove City
Griggs Dam Park & Ride 2933 Riverside Drive, Columbus, OH 43221 73, Zoo Bus
Grove City Park & Ride 2321 Old Stringtown Rd., Grove City, OH 43123 3, 61, COTA//Plus Grove City
Hilliard United Methodist Church Park & Ride 5445 Scioto-Darby Rd., Hilliard, OH 43026 21, 32
Livingston & Barnett Park & Ride 3380 E Livingston Ave, Columbus, OH 43227 1, 23
New Albany Park & Ride 5202 Forest Dr, New Albany, OH 43054 35, 45, SmartRide New Albany
Northern Lights Park & Ride 3573 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, OH 43224 CMAX
Northland Transit Center 5495 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43231 35, 43, CMAX
Olentangy & Bethel Park & Ride 4957 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, OH 43214 74
Renner Rd Park & Ride 5608 Renner Rd, Columbus, OH 43228 5, 71
Reynoldsburg Park & Ride 2100 Birchview Dr, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 1, 51
Royal Plaza (Gahanna) Park & Ride 376-452 Agler Rd, Gahanna, OH 43230 46
St Andrew Park & Ride 1985 Swansford Dr, Dublin, OH 43016 74
St PetersPark & Ride 6899 Smoky Row Rd, Columbus, OH 43235 74
Westerville Park & Ride 312 W Main St, Westerville, OH 43081 43, COTA//Plus Westerville
Westwoods Park & Ride 55 Westwoods Blvd, Galloway, OH 43119 9, 10, 21
Whitehall Park & Ride E Broad St & Schofield Dr, Whitehall, OH 43213 10





Keeping You Connected on the Go

COTA offers free, fleet-wide passenger Wi-Fi. So you can check email, access social media or watch a movie while safely riding to your next destination.

How to log in

  • Find for the Wi-Fi symbol displayed on your vehicle.
  • Pull up the COTA Passenger Wi-Fi network. On the login screen, you can register using a Facebook account, first name or email address.
  • The only mandatory step for connecting to onboard Wi-Fi is accepting our Terms & Conditions. To accept, click the box at the bottom of the login screen.
  • Once you’ve accepted the Terms, you are free to use Wi-Fi on your personal device.
  • You can also connect to COTA Wi-Fi at the following locations:
    • Outside of COTA’s Pass Sales Office at 33 N. High St.
    • The COTA Spring Street Terminal at 33 W. Spring St.
    • The COTA Transit Terminal at 25 E. Rich St.
    • The COTA Easton Transit Center at 4260 Transit Dr.
    • The COTA shelter at the John Glenn International Airport on the Arrivals level