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COTA Now Free, Passengers to Board at Rear Door

Brent Warren Brent Warren COTA Now Free, Passengers to Board at Rear DoorPhoto by Brent Warren.
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The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) held an emergency meeting of its Board of Trustees this morning to vote on several actions it is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board approved the suspension of fares for all customers, effective immediately. The fares “will remain suspended during the coronavirus outbreak,” according to a COTA spokesperson.

Also approved was a new policy asking riders to board the bus through the rear doors to “encourage social distancing for our customers and our operators.”

Customers in wheelchairs or others who need to use the ramp at the front of the bus to board will still be able to do so.

COTA announced earlier this week that it will be modifying its schedule to respond to a decrease in ridership. Since then, service on all of the agency’s suburban rush hour routes has been reduced to one daily trip to and from Downtown, and the Night Owl and Air Connect lines have been suspended completely.

The Transit app has been tracking the decline in ridership at transit agencies across the country. According to the company, daily ridership on COTA, as of yesterday, was down 53%.

The latest information on service changes is available at COTA.com.

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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