COTA moves to ‘focused service’, offers kids free rides to get meals


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Starting Tuesday, the Central Ohio Transportation Authority (COTA) will begin offering “focused” service in an effort to meet changing transportation needs while the state continues efforts to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In addition, COTA will offer all Columbus City School children free transportation to any of the schools in order to pick up a free meal.

COTA said in a statement the focused service will allow the company to “be flexible to address changing community needs while maintaining service to the vast majority of existing routes.”

Updated schedule information for the focused service is available through either the COTA Customer Information Center at 614-228-1776 or via the COTA website.

COTA will also post route changes on transit vehicles as those changes are made.

For school students, COTA currently offers free rides to children under 48 inches tall. It will extend the free rides to children taller than 48 inches. The students would have to tell the COTA driver they need a ride for no charge. The free rides extend only to the locations where schools are offering free meals.

“These are challenging times and COTA is working to ensure our system is nimble to adapt to the changing mobility needs of our community,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton in a press release. “This means evaluating where our resources are needed most, including for residents who must still get to work, receive health services, need access to food, and rely on social programs that help their families.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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