On Tuesday, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees approved fare increases, effective January 1, 2010, for all fixed-route bus and paratransit services. The last time COTA raised fares was in 2006.
One-way local cash fares will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 while local monthly passes with unlimited rides will increase from $45 to $55.
"We believe that our customers should contribute a reasonable portion of the cost to provide transit service," said Bill Lhota, COTA president/CEO. "By adjusting fares upward we are striving to maintain an equitable ratio between the fare paid by the customer and amount subsidized by the taxpayers."
The proposed increase positions COTA closer to the transit industry standard fare box recovery rate while accounting for the inflationary factors that impact the cost of providing transit service.
The fare increases are projected to generate approximately $2.1 million in additional revenue annually.
Even with the increase, COTA's fare structure is generally equal to or less than the transit fare structure in other major Ohio cities. Unlike many transit agencies in Ohio and nationally, COTA continues to expand service by adding new routes, more service on existing routes and, beginning in January 2010, operating service later into the evening.