December 15, 2011

COTA Public Meeting

I went to the proposed service change on Tuesday to find out one thing: does COTA have a multi-pass system now? The short answer: yes.

As a part of their service announcement, COTA cheekily included the additions of "Trip Ticket" and "2-Trip Ticket." These sounded like a small step towards a multi-pass system that everyone has pined for but there was conflicting information.

Nowhere else on their website mentioned these passes so it appeared that there might have been an "oopsy." Well, I did high-end research and found out that yes, they're just like multi-passes. Apparently, after Columbus City Schools stopped busing the charter students around, the charter schools wanted to extend transportation to students but did not want to pay the small premium on a "Day pass" (cost: $4.50 versus a 2-Trip-Ticket cost of $4.00). Starting January 2, 2012, COTA is beginning to open up this pass to non-students as well. Hip, hip, hooray.

Other things I learned:

  1. There are a handful of Express routes which do a reverse commute, i.e., downtown to suburb. These routes are not that popular and have largely been cut back.
  2. COTA, municipalities, companies, and everyone else realize that buses tear up roads/parking lots. I thought that it was a dirty secret but it turns out that everyone has eyes and recognizes that the potholes likely have relationship to these large buses going around town.
  3. COTA gives a pretty good presentation. They definitely know what they're doing.
One last update:

Local Monthly
Express Monthly
Multi-Pass System
10 for $22.50
5 for $11.25
2 for $4.00
10 for $17.50
10 for $15.00
25 for $22.50
                         *Light rail has a surcharge of $0.75 but the inner downtown is free.

Next up: More bus stories

Cool link of the day:
4 Deer Saved From Certain Death


  1. I think most people that want a multi-ride pass want something more than two. Can you buy a whole bunch of these trip tickets? How long are they valid before they expire?

  2. I agree with that comment. From my understanding, these tickets would have to be purchased outside of a bus, so yes, I believe that you could purchase a whole bunch of trip tickets. It sounds as though there will be no expiration date.

    I also asked if it were possible for a 10-trip or a 12-trip ticket and they told me that they would talk with finances about it. I'm not sure if that means it's likely or if that's a response they give most people, but the woman giving the presentation definitely understood the benefit of a multi-pass.

  3. Thanks for the info, I've been wanting a multi-pass for quite some time ( even if there wasn't any discount for buying in bulk - just to avoid having to keep exact change for the fare). It always seemed so strange that COTA didn't have some form of prepaid ticket, even if it is an old school strip of tickets, or more preferably a reloadable card.

  4. So how do I buy these 2-trip tickets? Why would they obfuscate this option to the point of just failing to include it on the website?

    It's bumbling moves like this that make our already archaic public transit system seem more fitting for a Monty Python skit.

  5. Yesterday I bought one from the central COTA building on High Street near Broad. According to the employees there, the only place to purchase them is at the central COTA building.

    I asked if there was much demand for the tickets and the lady said they're not popular at all.

    I agree that they should publicize the trip-tickets in there fare section. The only trace of it is in the January 2012 service change presentation.


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