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Terms and Conditions for Prepaid Accounts

The following terms and conditions (the “Terms”) govern the access to, and use of, the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s Fare Payment System. As a participant (in their individual capacity, “Participant” or generally, the “Participants” for services provided by Central Ohio Transit Authority (“COTA”), with sales provided by Masabi LLC (“Masabi”), including, without limitation, provisions of the COTA software application (“Transit App”), COTA’s Customer Web Portal (“Customer Web Portal”), related products, and customer support services. For the purposes of these Terms do not include any physical transit services provided in connection with the purchase and use of Account-Based Payments (defined in Section 1).

The COTA reserves the right to modify these Terms at any time and in its sole discretion by posting revised Terms on https://www.cota.com. By using the Transit App, or Customer Web Portal, Participants agree to accept these terms and conditions, as well as the general terms and conditions relating to COTA’s Webpage managed by the and the account managed by Masabi.

  1. Account-Based Payments 

COTA shall utilize, two pre-paid mechanisms to receive payment: (1) a mobile account (“Mobile Account”) or (2) a physical Smartcard account (“Smartcard Account”), which when accounts are loaded with appropriate value by the Participant, that value is valid for use on a COTA operated vehicle.

Mobile Account value may be loaded to a Mobile Account, through the following mechanisms by using the Transit App on an iOS or Android device:

  1. Transit App via a Participant’s valid debit or credit card;
  2. on COTA’s Customer Web Portal;
  3. at select Outlet Locations; or
  4. at COTA’s Customer Experience Center located at 33 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43215

Smartcard Account value may be loaded to the Participant’s Smartcard Account, through the following mechanisms by using the Smartcard:

  1. COTA’s Customer Web Portal;
  2. at select Outlet Locations; or
  3. at COTA’s Customer Experience Center located at 33 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Physical Smartcards for Participants wanting to utilize a Smartcard Account are available only at COTA’s Customer Experience Center located at 33 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43215. Outlet locations are available only for loading value on smart cards.

COTA is not responsible for Outlet Locations including hours and locations. Outlet Locations are not staffed with COTA employees and have no direct affiliation with COTA, therefore COTA is not responsible for any actions of Outlet Locations employees or events that may occur while at Outlet Locations.

Participants shall load value to their Mobile Account through the Transit App or Customer Web Portal. Mobile Account value will be placed in the ‘digital wallet’ section of the Transit App. The appropriate Mobile Account balance must be loaded, available and must be activated using the Transit App prior to boarding a transit vehicle. COTA is not responsible for any Participant’s mobile device functionality, display condition, including lack of power to display the proper information for proper payment of fare.

COTA’s Code of Conduct establishes reasonable expectations with regards to behavior for all Participants on COTA vehicles or property. Participants, prior to boarding the vehicle, are responsible for providing a valid Mobile Account or Smartcard Account payment, ensuring an appropriate account balance, and providing proof of eligibility when obtaining a reduced fare is required.

Participants shall display the Mobile Account balance or provide their physical Smartcard immediately upon the request of a COTA employee, who will inspect or validate the Mobile Account or Smartcard Account, which may include electronic scanning. Any delay in displaying or failure to display the Mobile Account or Smartcard (including, but not limited to a Participant’s mobile device or Smartcard being in use for another reason) may result in removal from the vehicle or property, prohibition from COTA’s facilities and services (including vehicles) in the future, criminal prosecution, and further penalty as outlined in Ohio Revised Code 306.99.

The security of a Participant’s mobile phone, physical Smartcard, Mobile Accounts, and Smartcard Accounts are each Participant’s responsibility. COTA assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen mobile devices or Smartcards. COTA will not provide a duplicate or replacement Mobile or Smartcard Account. A Participant shall not print or transfer Mobile Accounts.

**2. Prices and Receipts** 

A minimum single transaction amount of $2.00 must be loaded to the Participants Mobile Account or Smartcard Account, with a maximum single transaction amount of $150.00. Section 1 describes the mechanisms in which value can be loaded to the account.

Participants shall keep a balance equivalent to that of COTA’s required standard fare payment to board the vehicle. Participants holding a negative Mobile or Smartcard Account balance shall be denied boarding on the vehicle for having insufficient funds available, unless the account is fare capped, in which a positive balance is required following the completion of the fare capped period. Participants shall pay all costs, incurred by COTA to collect any monies due under the account-based system.

**3. Paratransit and Reduced Fare** 

Participants eligible for Paratransit or Reduced Fare may be required to show the COTA driver applicable identification following Mobile Account or Smartcard Account payment on-board the vehicle, as indicated by the payment reader.

Participants are responsible for identifying their Mobile Account or Smartcard Account as Paratransit or Reduced Fare when loading value to their account through the mechanisms described in Section 1. COTA is not responsible for refunding or crediting Mobile Account or Smartcard Account balances due to the Participants failure to properly identifying their account at the time of any transaction.

**4. Transit App Mobile Application and COTA Customer Web Portal** The COTA Webpage, and the respective contents thereof are protected by US and international copyright, trademark laws, and other laws. Unauthorized use of COTA’s Webpage, or their respective contents may violate such copyright, trademark, and other laws.

No Participant owns any portion of COTA or any information that is provided through COTA’s Webpage, or its third-party service providers. However, each Participant is granted the limited, non-exclusive, revocable, non-transferable license to download, install, and use COTA’s Customer Web Portal and respective mobile applications (if applicable) on the Participant’s mobile device, and to access and use COTA’s Customer Web Portal and Webpage, to utilize or load value to the Participants Mobile Account and access certain information relating to their Mobile Account or Smart Card Account system in accordance with these Terms.

Services on related to Mobile Accounts and Smartcard Accounts on COTA’s Webpage and mobile applications are provided on an “as is” basis, and each Participant uses them at the Participant’s own risk. COTA shall endeavor to use reasonable care and skill in providing the services on its website and mobile applications, within a reasonable time, in accordance with these Terms. Otherwise, except as and where expressly provided in these Terms, COTA specifically disclaims any representations, endorsements, guarantees, and warranties regarding its Webpage, mobile applications, the respective contents of its Customer Web Portal, mobile applications, or any other services or products provided in connection therewith, including any warranties that the web based services connected to Mobile Accounts and Smart Card Accounts will be provided without interruption, or that the web based services connected to Mobile Accounts and Smart Card Accounts or any associated content will be secure, accurate, current, complete, or error-free.

All products, services, or content provided by third parties are provided “as is” and any representations or warranties of or concerning any such third-party products, services, or content are strictly between you and the third-party providers.

** 5. Registration** 

Participants should choose one account type, either a Mobile Account or a Smartcard Account. Participants choosing a Smartcard Account are not required to register, and remain anonymous, however the Participant will lose the ability for COTA to temporarily close the account in the event of a lost or stolen Smartcard or have the availability to potentially other promotional offers and account benefits made through information gained during the registration process.

If a Participant opts to utilize a Mobile Account, the Participant must first register for an Account on the Transit App.

When a Participant registers a Mobile Account with full access to the Participant’s transaction history and other information, in addition to an email address, the Participant may be required to provide certain other information (“Registration Data”) about the Participant. The following conditions will apply all of the Participant’s Registration Data:

  • The Participant agrees that the Registration Data the Participant provides is accurate, complete and will be kept up-to-date. Failure to do so will constitute a breach of these Terms and may result in a termination of the Participant’s account and access to Tapp Pay without notice.
  • The Participant is responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of the Participant’s account user identification (“User ID”) and password. The Participant is solely responsible for all activities that occur through the use of the Participant’s User ID, password, and mobile device.
  • The Participant shall not access or use, or attempt to access or use the Mobile Account or any part thereof using the identity or the Registration Data of any person other than the Participant.
  • The Participant agrees to immediately notify COTA of any unauthorized use of the Participant’s User ID or password.
  • From time to time, the Participant may be asked via an email message from COTA, Masabi, or Transit App, to confirm the Participant’s account or any Registration Data related thereto. If such information is not confirmed, the Participant’s account may be deleted by COTA without notice. Once the Participant’s account has been inactivated, the Participant’s account information may be retained or removed by COTA in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–579, 88 Stat. 1896, enacted December 31, 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a), a United States federal law.

If a Participant opts to utilize a Smartcard Account, registration is available through COTA’s Webpage.

When a Participant chooses to register for a Smartcard Account with full access to the Participant’s transaction history and other information, in addition to an email address, the Participant may be required to provide certain other information (“Registration Data”) about the Participant, as well. The following conditions will apply all of the Participant’s Registration Data:

  • The Participant agrees that the Registration Data the Participant provides is accurate, complete and will be kept up-to-date. Failure to do so will constitute a breach of these Terms and may result in a termination of the Participant’s account and access to without notice.
  • The Participant is responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of the Participant’s account user identification (“User ID”) and password. The Participant is solely responsible for all activities that occur through the use of the Participant’s User ID, password, and Smartcard.
  • The Participant shall not access or use or attempt to access or use the Mobile Account or any part thereof using the identity or the Registration Data of any person other than the Participant.
  • The Participant agrees to immediately notify COTA of any unauthorized use of the Participant’s User ID or password.
  • From time to time, the Participant may be asked via an email message from COTA or Masabi, to confirm the Participant’s account or any Registration Data related thereto. If such information is not confirmed, the Participant’s account may be deleted by COTA without notice. Once the Participant’s account has been deleted, the Participant’s account information may be retained or removed by COTA in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–579, 88 Stat. 1896, enacted December 31, 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a), a United States federal law.

** 6. Privacy** 

COTA is subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 and strictly adheres to the principles contained therein. The Registration Data and any other personal information provided by the Participant in connection with a Smartcard Account or Mobile Account will be used for the purposes of processing the Account, providing the Participant with mobile ticketing, communicating with the Participant regarding the mobile ticketing and the Participant’s account, and other internal marketing purposes. In order to make the mobile ticketing available to Participants, COTA will need to share Participants’ information with some of its Outlet Locations, including Masabi, Transit App, credit card payment processing agencies, and financial institutions. These parties may also need to collect certain financial and other additional information about you. Masabi’s privacy policy (available at http://www.masabi.com/privacy-statement) explains how it will use the information which the Participant has provided in connection with their account.

By using the Mobile Account, SmartCard Account, Customer Web Portal, Outlet Locations, and Webpage, Participants consent to the collection and use of Participants’ information in the manners and for the purposes as aforesaid. Please direct any inquiries regarding COTA Privacy policies to customerservice@cota.com.

**7. Conditions of Use** 

In connection with the use of Mobile Accounts, Smart Card Accounts, and Customer Web Portal, each Participant shall not:

  • restrict or inhibit any other user or other person from using a Smart Card Account or Mobile Account, including, without limitation, by means of hacking or defacing any portion of the Mobile Account or Smartcard.
  • use any products provided by COTA in connection therewith for any unlawful purpose;
  • engage in any activity that could compromise the security of or disrupt or interfere with the Mobile Account, Smartcard Account, Customer Web Portal, and Webpage;
  • transmit any software or other materials that contain any viruses, worms, Trojan horses, defects, date bombs, time bombs, or other items of a destructive or harmful nature;
  • modify, adapt, copy, sub-license, translate, sell, reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble any portion of the Mobile Account, Smart Card Account, Customer Web Portal, and Webpage, or otherwise attempt to derive any source code or underlying ideas or algorithms or from any part of COTA’s Webpage, Customer Web Portal, applications, or programs related to Smartcard Accounts and Mobile Accounts;
  • remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights notices contained within COTA’s Webpage or related applications;
  • use any robot, spider, offline reader, site search/retrieval application, or any other manual or automatic device or process to retrieve, index, data mine, or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of COTA’s Webpage, Customer Web Portal, related applications, or their respective content; or
  • take any action that imposes or may impose (in COTA‘s sole discretion) an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on COTA‘s infrastructure, or on the infrastructure of COTA’s third party providers.

** 8. Data Charges** 

The Transit App is free, but data charges may be incurred to each Participant by the Participant’s cell phone network provider. Mobile payment requires a correctly configured and functional wireless internet data connection, both for the initial download and installation onto a mobile device and for use of a Mobile Account. The Participant is responsible for any such costs. The COTA will not take responsibility for any connectivity issues the Participant may experience.

** 9. Support and Communications** 

If Participant has any questions or problems with their Mobile Account, Smartcards, Customer Web Portal, or COTA’s Webpage, please review COTA’s FAQs at for answers to the most common questions COTA receives from its users. If that does not answer the Participant’s questions please contact COTA at 614-228-1776 or via email at customerservice@cota.com. However, in some rare instances, Participants may be asked by COTA staff to contact Transit App or Masabi. COTA is not responsible for contacting retail Outlets on behalf of the Participant or the Participant’s credit card provider or financial institution.

Mobile Payment will not work on all mobile devices. Currently supported device platforms include Apple iOS and Google Android. COTA makes no warranty or representation regarding the continued availability, content, or performance of such support. Download and operational success may depend on the Participant’s device’s settings.

COTA, Transit App, or Masabi may send communications to Participants through mobile applications or any email or phone number provided as part of Registration Data. These communications may include marketing material, technical, and support information, and information on updates or changes. By registering for an account through the Transit App or COTA’s Customer Service Portal, each Participant agrees to allow COTA, Transit App, or Masabi to provide Participants with such communications.

Please note that COTA may cease to operate, and support Mobile/SmartCard Payments, or a particular version of it, at any time. If this happens, Participants will be unable to access Mobile/SmartCard Payments (or relevant versions of it) and Participants may be unable to download or install updates of Mobile Payment. COTA may also require the Participant to delete the mobile payment app from the Participant’s mobile device, or to remotely deactivate your account on the Participant’s mobile device at any time and for any reason in COTA’s sole discretion.

**10. Availability & Updates** 

COTA reserves the right to issue updates to the Transit App, the Customer Service Portal, and COTA’s Webpage, in which case a Mobile Account Participant may not be able to continue use of the version of the mobile application installed on the Participant’s mobile device without downloading the latest update. COTA recommends that each Participant downloads and installs all updates issued. The COTA is not liable for errors which become apparent in old versions of the mobile application and Webpage.

COTA has the right, at our sole discretion, to suspend access to the Mobile or Smartcard Account available through Transit App, Customer Service Portal and Webpage at any time and for any reason, with or without notice. Except when COTA suspects fraudulent activity or believes that a Participant is seeking to access or use the Mobile or Smartcard Account other than in accordance with these Terms, COTA will use reasonable efforts to only suspend access when carrying out maintenance on the Mobile/Smart Card Payment and Webpage, or the systems supporting them by Transit App and Masabi.

**11. Changes, Refunds and Account Balance Expiration** 

The COTA has a no-refund policy. Any Mobile and Smartcard Account transactions cannot be changed, cancelled, or refunded. The decision to change, cancel or refund a Mobile or Smartcard Account transaction is made at COTA’s sole and absolute discretion.

Neither COTA nor Transit App, Masabi or Outlet Locations shall be obliged to change, cancel, replace, or refund an a Mobile or Smartcard Account where COTA has reason to believe that the circumstances prompting the change, cancellation, replacement, or refund is the result of fraud.

**12. Materials, Ownership and Restrictions on Use** 

The Transit App and Customer Web Portal are not directly operated by COTA and is owned by its third-party licensors (including without limitation, Masabi and Transit App) and any data, text, graphics, images, audio and video clips, logos, icons, software and links and any intellectual property and other rights relating thereto, are and will remain the property of COTA, Transit App, or Masabi or their respective licensors. Participants shall not copy (other than copies made incidentally on a Participant’s mobile device or other computing device in the course of a Participant’s use of the Transit App or Customer Web Portal) reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute the Transit App or the Mobile Payment and Webpage or any of its content without the prior written permission of COTA and its licensors. Participants shall not: (i) reverse engineer, decompile or seek to obtain the source code to the Transit App or Customer Web Portal except where and to the extent expressly required to be permitted by applicable law; or (ii) make or seek to make derivative works based on the Transit App. Use or downloading of the Transit App or Webpage is conditioned on acceptance of the Terms. By using or downloading the Transit App, Participants agree to the Terms. The Transit App and Customer Web Portal are supplied to Participants by COTA and COTA shall not have any liability to Participants arising out of or in connection with the Transit App or Customer Web Portal.

Ohio law applies to these terms and conditions and users agree that Ohio law applies to any dispute between COTA and the users of the Transit App and Customer Web Portal regarding the mobile application or arising out of or in connection with these Terms. Participants understand that any information it submits under this Agreement is subject to public disclosure, unless exempt by law.

** 13. Liability Disclaimer** 

COTA is not responsible for any loss or damage which any Participant may suffer in relation to the use of COTA transit services in connection with Mobile and Smartcard Accounts, Outlet Locations, Transit App, the Customer Web Portal, or COTA’s Web Page (including delays, cancellations, or disruption to transit services). Any further Terms imposed by the COTA regarding transit services will apply to all such transit services provided to in connection with Mobile and Smartcard Accounts accessed through those mechanisms described in Section 1 and Participants should read such additional terms and conditions carefully.

All third-party suppliers of products, services, or content accessible through links contained within Transit App, Outlet Locations, or Webpage are independent entities and COTA is not responsible or liable for any wrongful act or omission on the part of any such third parties, for any products or services provided by such third parties, or for any of the content on such third-party websites. If a Participant decides to access linked third-party websites, the Participant does so entirely at the Participant’s own risk. When you visit another site, please review their terms of use.

The COTA shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, exemplary, or consequential losses or damages of whatsoever kind arising out of the use or misuse of, or inability to access or use Transit App, Outlet Locations, Customer Web Portal, COTA’s Webpage, or any Mobile or Smartcard Accounts, or products provided in connection therewith, whether or not COTA has been advised of the possibility of or foreseen such losses or damages and howsoever caused or arising, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or any other theory of legal liability.

**14. Indemnity** 

Participants agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless COTA and its officials, officers, employees, contractors, and authorized agents and representatives from and against any liability, loss, damages, injury (including injuries resulting in death), demand, action, cost, expense, or claim of any kind (including, without limitation, lawyers’ fees) in any way arising out of your use or misuse of, or inability to access or use, Transit App, Outlet Locations, Customer Web Portal, COTA’s Webpage, or any Mobile or Smartcard Accounts, or products provided in connection therewith .

**15. Termination and Inactive Accounts** 

If a Participant violates these Terms or any policies or guidelines posted on the Transit App,  Customer Web Portal, or COTA’s Webpage, then COTA shall have the right to immediately terminate the Participant’s license to use the Transit App and all access to your Mobile or Smartcard Account and Webpage. COTA reserves all of its other rights at law and in equity.

An “Inactive Account” occurs when a Participant’s Account or any other account has been inactive for more than one year. If the COTA closes an Inactive Account, the remaining funds in the Inactive Account shall become the property of COTA and the Account will be closed.

**16. Other Terms** 

COTA may amend or update these Terms from time to time. Whenever a Participant makes a transaction Transit App or the Webpage, the Participant will be asked to confirm the Participant’s acceptance of the most up-to-date version of these Terms. If the Participant does not agree to any changes, the Participant shall not be permitted to use Transit App and/or Customer Web Portal.

These Terms (as may be amended, updated, or supplemented from time to time) are intended by COTA to set out the entire agreement between COTA and Participants with respect to Participants’ use of, and the provision by COTA, of the Transit App and Customer Web Portal. COTA recommends that each Participant read them carefully to protect the Participant’s own interests and to ensure that the Participant understands the Participant’s rights and obligations hereunder. The use of Mobile and Smartcard accounts, and any transactions made through the mechanisms described in Section 1, are governed by the laws in force in Ohio and the United States. You agree and submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in Columbus, Ohio. The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods shall not apply.

If a Participant has any questions regarding the use of a Mobile Account or Smartcard Account, please refer first to the Support and Communications section of these Terms. All other questions or comments should be directed to the COTA Customer Services at 614-228-1776 or by email at customerservice@cota.com