COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Central Ohio Transit Authority is introducing a new fare structure it hopes will simplify its system, while making fees more equitable for customers.

COTA’s Board of Trustees approved the measure Wednesday.

“The goal of the new policy is to reduce barriers to transit access through fare affordability while creating a more seamless payment experience for customers,” COTA said in a statement.

The new fare system is designed to reduce or maintain bus fares for all customers. Some of the provisions include:

  • Fare capping — ensures customers pay no more than $4.50 a day or $62 a month;
  • Flat fare rate — eliminates the 75-cent upcharge on rush hour lines and makes the standard fare $2 on all lines;
  • Simplified transfers — allows for two-hour accessibility for any fare;
  • Simplified children discounts — allows children under 5 to ride free, and children between 5 and 12 to board for $1.

COTA says its customer research shows that customers who can only afford to pay by individual trips are ultimately paying more than those who can afford to purchase a monthly pass.

COTA is updating our fare policy because it is the right thing to do. This new structure makes transit more equitable, accessible and affordable and ensures all customers can take advantage of the best rate available, regardless of their financial situation.

COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton.

The new fare structure will be implemented later this fall, according to COTA.