COLUMBUS (WCMH) — COTA has announced it will soon be launching a new digital fare payment system.  

The new fare system, which launches Nov. 1, will make purchasing fare easier, ensures customers the best fare rate, and makes transit equitable and accessible for all, according to a release from COTA.  

COTA will utilize the “Transit” app on mobile devices and Smartcards linked to personal COTA accounts to launch the new system.

“Customers using the new account-based ticketing system will benefit from new fare capping technology
that keeps track of their trips so customers will not pay more than $4.50 per day or $62 per month, with the potential to save hundreds of dollars each year,” the release states.

The system also:

  • Corrects the inequity of transit fare payment
  • Creates an account-based system that allows customers to pay as they go, using the Transit App on a Smartphone or a COTA-issued Smartcard for customers who do not have smartphones
  • Features fare capping, ensuring no one pays more than $4.50 a day or $62 a month
  • Makes a $2 fare valid for 2 hours, allowing customers to travel on any line in any direction for that time period
  • Creates a network of up to 400 retail locations to help unbanked customers load cash onto their account

“We know that transit is at the heart of ensuring economic mobility for all in our region, and
advancing this new digital fare payment system is truly the right thing to do,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “By correcting this inequity in our transit system, COTA is taking the next step in guaranteeing all of our residents have equal access to food, jobs, healthcare, the arts and entertainment throughout our region.”

COTA customers can download the Transit app or visit to learn more.