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Central Ohio Transit Authority

Central Ohio Transit Authority
COTA logo.png
COTA Customer Experience Center.jpg
Customer Experience Center, part of
COTA's headquarters
FoundedJanuary 1, 1971 (1971-01-01)
Headquarters33 N. High St,
Columbus, Ohio
Service areaFranklin County and portions of Delaware, Fairfield, and Licking counties[1]
Service typeBus service, bus rapid transit, microtransit, paratransit
Routes41 (24 active; list of routes)[2]
Stops3,041[2]
Stations6
Fleet492[2]
Annual ridership19.1 million (2019, Increase 1.2%)[3]
Fuel typeCNG, diesel, diesel-electric hybrid
Chief executiveJoanna Pinkerton
Websitewww.cota.com

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA /ˈktə/) is a public transit agency serving the Columbus metropolitan area, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It operates fixed-route buses, bus rapid transit, microtransit, and paratransit services.

COTA's headquarters are located in the William J. Lhota Building in downtown Columbus. The agency is managed by President and CEO Joanna Pinkerton along with a 13-member board of trustees.[4] COTA is funded by a permanent 0.25% sales tax as well as another 10-year 0.25% sales tax.[5]

The agency was founded in 1971, replacing the private Columbus Transit Company. Mass transit service in the city dates to 1863, progressively with horsecars, streetcars, and buses. The Central Ohio Transit Authority began operating in 1974, and has made gradual improvements to its fleet and network. Its first bus network redesign took place in 2017. The 2010s have also seen noted service improvements, with the addition of the CBUS free downtown circulator in 2014, its AirConnect airport service in 2016, and the CMAX bus rapid transit service in 2018.

  1. ^ http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Planning/Transit/Documents/2019%20Status%20of%20Transit%20(SOT%202019).pdf
  2. ^ a b c "2020 Annual Report" (PDF). Central Ohio Transit Authority. 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference ridership was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ "COTA History". Central Ohio Transit Authority. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  5. ^ Dispatch, Kimball Perry, The Columbus. "Voters opt to renew COTA's quarter-cent sales tax". The Columbus Dispatch.