COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Central Ohioans looking to take a bus now can look at real-time routes and buy tickets through the Uber app.
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) announced they have partnered with Uber to offer travelers the chance to purchase bus tickets and see routes in real-time through the mobile application.
“We believe that accessing transit should be easy. That’s why we aim to make our app a one stop-shop for all your transportation needs,” said Jen Shepherd, Global Head of Transit at Uber. “We’re excited to work with COTA and Masabi to deliver a new set of ticketing options for customers in the greater Columbus and Central Ohio region.”
After searching for your ride in the Uber app, you can scroll down in the “Choose a Ride” menu at the bottom and find an option that says “Transit”. After selecting “Transit”, you will see a variety of COTA routes to get to your destination and the estimated time of those routes.
After selecting your route, you will be taken to pay or redeem for your ticket. According to COTA, buying a ticket through the Uber app will cost $4.50 for a single-day pass. The ticket will then store on your phone in the “Transit Tickets” section that can be shown to the driver when boarding the bus.
“Both rideshare and public transportation are very safe, very clean ways to travel, very cost effective ways and you can merge those together if that’s the way you get around the city,” says Jeff Pullin, the Public and Media Relations manager for COTA.
Pullin says this makes it easy to toggle back and forth between public transit and rideshare.
“You could take an Uber into the Short North,” says Pullin. “If you are going to different restaurants, different bars, different shows you utilize the Uber app to also pay for your COTA transit trip and ride up and down High Street.”
According to Pullin, the Lyft app also has journey planning options, but only the Uber app allows you to actually pay for that transit pass.
Pullin says the partnership between COTA and Uber will be helpful to many central Ohioans.
“A lot of people on the outside look at public transportation and ride share as competition. We don’t see it that way. We want people to get where they need to be in the most efficient way possible. If they have to use one, the other or both, we’re there to help,” says Pullin.
The public transit feature should be in your Uber app right now. If not, make sure your app has the latest update.
For more information on COTA routes, click here.