Author’s note: This is an old post from my other blog, but it’s still helpful (I think)
So I’m a believer that an urban area can only as good as its mass transit system. Throw me into a city with a solid transit system, and I’ll know my way around in less than a minute. I’ll admit to being one of Columbus’ biggest fanboys, but I can’t make the claim that we’re one of those cities. Seriously…look at the map below and try to figure out how to get to your destination.
BUT…being a problem solver rather than a whiner, here’s what I’ll do for you. I’m going to break COTA down into its simplest pieces, and hopefully de-mystify the whole bus riding experience.
THE MOST USEFUL ROUTES – courtesy of COTA’s real time bus mapping system
The #2 (North High St. and East Main St.) – Comes on 15 minute headways during peak commuting times, and 30 minute headways during non-peak. One of COTA’s busiest, and probably not coincidentally, most straightforward route.
The #7 (Whittier St., High St., and Neil Ave.) – Comes on 20 minute headways during peak commuting times, and 30 minute headways during non-peak. This route snakes through campus, down through Victorian Village, downtown, and German Village.
The #10 (Broad St.) – One of the strangest route schedules includes a pu pu platter of headways including 10, 15, and 20 minute headways during peak times, and 30-45 minute headways on weekends and evenings. It’s a shame too, because COTA got this one right by having a straightforward East-West route.
The #16 (South High St., East Long St., Easton) – Comes on erratic 20-25 minute headways during peak commuting times, and 45 minute headways during non-peak. This route provides access to/from German Village and Old Towne East neighborhoods with downtown. It’s a 45 minute ride from Easton to downtown, so bring something to do if you’re planning on making that trek.
THE BASICS OF RIDING
1) Find the nearest stop. Here’s a LINK to COTA’s stop locator.
2) COTA buses only accept exact change ($1.50) or prepaid passes, so remember to shake the change jar for a few quarters before you walk out the door.
3) When you want to get off the bus, there will either be a yellow strip on the wall, or a yellow pull cord. Push or pull it before your stop to let the driver know that your stop is coming.
4) Exit the back door to stay out of the way of entering passengers. Tip: you may have to push it open. You don’t want to stand there like an idiot and wait for the door to open.
5) Bring your iPod! I wouldn’t dream of riding the bus without something to keep me entertained. You’ll be able to zone out, and you can pretty much rest assured that you won’t be hassled by the creepy guy who smells like a mix of old nickels, cabbage, and sex panther cologne. Just don’t miss your stop!