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COTA Looking to Roll Out New Downtown-Airport Bus Line in May

 Brent Warren COTA Looking to Roll Out New Downtown-Airport Bus Line in MayPhoto by Walker Evans.
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COTA is moving ahead with plans to provide regular bus service between downtown and Port Columbus. A proposed route will be presented at public meetings next week with the goal of rolling out the new service in May of this year.

The route would make a loop through downtown, stopping at a number of hotels and the Greater Columbus Convention Center before heading to the airport on I-670. The proposed timetable calls for buses every 30 minutes, operating from 6am to 9pm, seven days a week. At the airport, the bus would drop passengers at departures and pick up new ones at arrivals before heading back downtown.


“We’re excited to introduce direct service between our growing downtown and our world class airport,” said COTA spokeswoman Lisa Meyers. “With the new service, we are hoping to contribute to the tourism and economic development goals of our community.”

COTA is planning to unveil the design of specially-branded buses for the route at its next Board of Trustees meeting on January 27th. The buses will be 30 feet long, the size of the CBUS circulator, and would cost the same as an express bus – $2.75 one way, $5.50 round trip. Meyers also said that COTA hopes to work with Port Columbus to install ticket vending machines at the airport.

The airport route is one of several proposed May service changes that will be presented at public meetings on January 21st and 26th. Feedback from those meetings and from comments submitted after the meetings will be compiled by COTA, with the final, adjusted routes being presented in another round of meetings in April.

All service changes being rolled out this year, including the airport route, are based on COTA’s recent Transit System Redesign plan.

For more information on the two upcoming meetings and on ways to comment on the proposed service changes, visit COTA.com/servicechanges.

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  • lbl

    Welcome to the 20th Century COTA! (snark)

  • Nancy H

    Overdue, but still welcome. Will be very convenient for people attending conventions and central city residents who are traveling by air.

    • Exactly, this helps a lot of the major conventions that come through Columbus yearly.

  • begreenandhealyourself

    “Mon-o-rail”, “Mon-o-rail”, “Mon-o-rail”, Everybody Together – “Mon-o-rail”

    • Do we really need something with just one rail?

      I think a light rail system that operates on a two-rail track would be fine as well.

  • toledo

    Congrats, now people on the westside can’t wine about having to stand for a connection where they clearly don’t belong, and the airport can still get their dishes washed! Now, how about the unbelievable trick where the #6 Mt Vernon bops into the airport it goes past every $%@ hour.

  • urbanenthusiast

    Yes, long overdue. But FANTASTIC news nonetheless!

  • The Sarcastic Medved

    Gee Columbus, thanks for entering the mid 20th Century.

  • Kokumo

    Let’s put the taxis out of business. Once I called three different companies to take me to the airport (just to be safe) and only one showed-up, about 45 min. later. Cost to go 6 mi: $22.00

  • This has been needed for ages. Also it wouldn’t hurt to include more park and rides that venture out that way.


    Nice on 2 counts: (1) ease of getting to airport and (2) it doesn’t travel down High St. in the core of downtown.

    COTA should install a ticket machine in the convention center. COTA may also want to install them in the big hotels on the route.

  • JMan

    A start in the right direction at least.

  • chaserdanger

    As someone that used to live in Columbus, and now visit Columbus several times a year, I take the last flight out of Midway to Columbus on weeknights usually. I think the bus connection is great, but should be open until the last flight in, even if its one bus every hour. Better than that 38 dollar cab ride.

  • Eugene_C

    I’d like to see them use really nice, first class buses with designer interiors. This is how we welcome visitors: in style!

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