COTA launches new microtransit service

Posted on July 16, 2019

Customers can book trips on their smartphone through the COTA Plus app.
Customers can book trips on their smartphone through the COTA Plus app.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) launched COTA Plus, an on-demand microtransit that will provide first-, last-mile service in partnership with Grove City. The mobility option will operate as a one-year pilot and will offer customers with point-to-point service at an affordable fare, and connect COTA riders to fixed-route service for free.

COTA Plus is an on-demand, app-based ride-share service that can book multiple passengers heading in the same direction into a shared vehicle. Referred to in the industry as microtransit on-demand, COTA Plus operates either as a point-to-point ride-share service or as a connection to or from a COTA bus line. Operators are COTA employees, who receive training and are subject to background checks upon hiring.

Customers can book trips on their smartphone through the COTA Plus app. If they download the app, they must register as a user. After booking a trip, a COTA Plus vehicle will arrive within 15 minutes to take them to their destination. The trip must begin and end within the defined zone in Grove City. Customers can also book COTA Plus trips via phone.

COTA Plus is a partnership between Grove City and COTA, with the option to expand service in the future, as needed.

Grove City is an ideal location for this pilot project because of its expanding community. The defined zone will connect fixed-route riders to the Southpark Industrial Park, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and the new Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital.

COTA Plus is powered by Via, a provider and developer of on-demand public mobility applications.

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