COTA Launches New Digital Fare Payment System

On November 1, COTA launched a new digital fare payment system to ensure all customers have the same access to discounts, cash conversion, Smartcards and digital services. This new initiative was designed to correct digital inequity in transit prices, make fare purchasing easier, help customers get the best fare whether they are using a smartphone or converting their cash to a Smartcard, and ensure transit is accessible for all. 

The new system:

  • Utilizes the Transit app on mobile devices and COTA Smartcards to move cash off-board to increase safety and speed up contactless boarding.
  • Includes a massively expanded retail network with nearly 400 VIDAPAY and VanillaDirect locations throughout Central Ohio neighborhoods to meet our COTA’s cash-only customers where they are.
  • Gives customers the potential to save hundreds of dollars each year with new fare capping technology that ensures they won’t pay more than $4.50 per day or $62 per month.
  • Reduces Rush Hour fares on the Line 45 (New Albany) from $2.75/ride to just $2.00/ride.
  • Offers a Ride On Us, a full day of unlimited transit covered by COTA when patrons register their COTA account through the Transit app at or COTA’s Customer Experience Center, 33 N. High St., Columbus.