Accessibility For Riders With Disabilities

Independence at Half the Price

If you are a rider with a disability, we can help you get you to where you need to go, whether it is the library, grocery store, shopping centers, service agencies and most hospitals within your community we offer safe, affordable, and reliable service at a 50% discount on our fixed-route service. All you need is a COTA Reduced Fare Key ID Card. View the official brochure.

Additionally, COTA Mainstream is a shared-ride public transportation service providing origin-to-destination transportation for people whose functional limitations prevent them from riding COTA’s fixed-route buses for some or all of their trips.  Learn more.


  • Fixed-route buses lower to the curb to make boarding easier.
  • Vehicles have ramps that extend for wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
  • Bus stops are announced and displayed onboard fixed-route buses, so you know the next bus stop.
  • Service animals are welcome on all COTA vehicles.
  • Your Personal Care Attendant (PCA) boards free. Just show your valid COTA ID card marked “YES” for the PCA free ride.

How do I Qualify?

In compliance with section 5(m) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1974, COTA adopted the following definition of a person with a disability to be eligible for Reduced Fare purposes:

Disability means, with respect to an individual, a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Major life activities means functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.

COTA recognizes eight categories of disabilities:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Neurosensory Disorders
  • Pulmonary Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Treatment Induced Disabilities
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Psychiatric Disorders

A person is not considered eligible for Reduced Fare, if the sole disability is:

  • Any physical, mental, or psychological disability of less than two months duration
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Controlled epilepsy
  • Drug and/or alcohol dependency

Any physical, mental, or psychological incapacity or disability that causes a person to have difficulty in utilizing mass transportation must be certified by a licensed professional.

COTA, at its own expense, has the right to require a physical examine of a person seeking reduced fares from a medical professional, when and so often as it may be reasonably required. COTA’s examination does not replace certification by the applicant’s physician.

How do I apply for a Reduced Fare Key Card to Ride Fixed-Route Service

  • Download the Reduced Fare Program brochure or request an application by mail by calling (614) 228-1776
  • Bring the completed form to COTA Pass Sales Office in the William J. Lhota Building at 33 N. High Street along with valid photo ID and proof of disability (Medicare card, Social Security Award letter or Veteran Disability Award letter).