CCS x COTA Partnership
CCS/COTA Partnership Provides Supplemental Transportation Services for High Schoolers
Columbus City Schools is partnering with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) to provide supplemental transportation services for all CCS students in grades 9-12 only.
Starting this school year, all Columbus City Schools high school students can use their Student Success Cards to ride COTA at no charge to them or their parents/guardians.
Students will have unlimited access to fixed-route transit services so they have access to jobs, tutoring, club/athletic practices and can use the pass if they miss their school bus. Additionally, CCS students who use COTA//Plus, which is available in South Columbus, will have access at no additional charge using the COTA//Plus app.
These passes are supplemental and do not replace the district’s yellow bus services provided to students who qualify for transportation to and from school.
CCS piloted the Student Success Cards over the last several school years and now, all students PreK-12 will receive Student Success Cards starting this school year. Student Success Cards are personalized IDs featuring a photo, name, and ID number. Students are expected to receive cards by mid-to-late September. During the school year, these cards can be used to:
- Swipe on and off the bus in the morning and afternoon (Coming second semester)
- Serve as ID during the school day
- Access online learning
- Check out books and other materials at any Columbus Metropolitan Library branch
- In addition to these benefits, grades 9-12 only will be able to use cards to access COTA
To help prepare students who have never ridden COTA before, there are tips parents/guardians can follow to prepare:
- For students with access to a smartphone, we recommend downloading the Transit app. From the Transit app, students can plan and track their COTA rides in real time. Students and their parents/guardians are also welcome to use the Trip Planner feature on COTA’s website.
- Regardless of whether you choose to plan trips via the Transit app or COTA’s Trip Planner, the process is simple. Just enter the starting location and destination for your trip. The Transit app or COTA’s Trip Planner will automatically plan route options.
- The Transit app and COTA’s Trip Planner both have built-in timing tools to help you reach your destination. You can choose to leave immediately (“Leave now”), set a desired departure time (“Leave at”) or set a specific time when you need to arrive at your destination (“Arrive by”). For example, if you have an appointment at 6 p.m., then we recommend selecting “Arrive by” when planning your trip so that all your planned routes get you to your destination in time for that appointment.
- The best way to prepare is to take a practice trip with your student! Fare for adults is only $2 per trip. If you have any questions or concerns, you can ask your COTA operator or call Customer Care at 614-228-1776. COTA’s trained Customer Care Advocates are here to help you ride COTA with confidence.
A reminder to high school students using their Student Success Cards to board COTA buses: Students will need to simply tap the card on the validator located directly to the right as they board the bus (see photo below). Do not try to scan it on the fare box next to the operator.
Also, high school students using their Student Success Cards for the first time will need to tap the card on the validator TWICE to activate it. During future trips, students will only have to tap the card once each time they board.
High School students will have unlimited access to fixed-route transit service so they can access jobs, tutoring, after-school activities, and athletic practices. Students can also use the pass if they miss their school bus.
These passes are supplemental and do not replace the District’s yellow bus services provided to students who qualify for transportation to and from school.