Is public transport reliable here?



Not really. Ohio is generally a car dependant state


Hello fellow non-driver. COTA is not reliable (I walk and bike pretty much everywhere) except up and down High St. The “Transit” app helps (you can also use it to pay). The real time tracking is usually accurate so you don’t need to wait at the bus stop for an hour. It also doesn’t run very late (10:00PM I think).


Why not high street? Just curious!


COTA is fairly usable on High St. because there are four routes that run through my neighborhood, so it’s *usually* not that long between buses.


Oops sorry I read that as you bike and walk everywhere except high street 😂 now I read it correctly that you mean the bus is not reliable except for on high street lol.


If you live downtown, this is easier to achieve. Not so much on the outskirts without adding more inconvenience and longer travel time. I lived downtown for a few years without a car. Used both COTA (city bus) and OSU’s bus line that travels around campus. Combined with having my own bike or using the electric scooters around, it was manageable. Not my favorite, but I was definitely in shape, held down a job, and paid the bills fine.


This. As long as you keep yourself to downtown-ish areas, it would work. Anecdotally, I have a friend who used to live in Chicago and their car was a liability. Had to park blocks away. And they lived 100 yards from an L stop, using that to get around town. So while it may work for some in Columbus, it’s does not have the reach of larger cities, designed around public transport.


Amen to that!


It depends on where in the city and what you expect as far as reliable. It's definitely much cheaper than owning a car, even factoring in using ride-sharing or delivery services for some trips that would be very inconvenient if you don't go overboard. Don't expect fast service in most of the city. There are very few lines that have service every 15 minutes and lots of places the further you get from high street or downtown that have service every 30 minutes or even once an hour. I live here and do not drive, but I come from somewhere with almost no public transportation. I can absolutely live very independently in Columbus without driving and I can't say that about my hometown. In Columbus and a lot of other cities, you can use Google Maps to check for transit connections and walking times between places when looking up directions by toggling from the default car to the transit or pedestrian icon. It's not always going to know about re-routes and detours or use real time data, but you can put in addresses in the areas you might want to live or work in to get an idea of how much time it would take to get around by using the bus.


Columbus is not where you want to be then. Public transit is nearly non-existent here.


As someone who commutes by cota daily, Its all highly circumstantial. My work is a 4 minute walk from a stop, and it just so happens the same line runs a 10 minute walk from my house. However, some may not be as lucky, some may be a 30 minute walk to the stop, have to take a transfer, and then pay for a third bus, Then another 30 minutes to where you're going. (Thats a severe situation, it most likely wouldnt be that bad.) It all really depends on circumstance.


Possible? Yes. Convenient? Sometimes. Cheap? Moderately. Just based on population alone, your choices in terms of convenience would be Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. In terms of public transportation, anywhere in Ohio is never going to be convenient as a larger population cities like Chicago, New York, DC, etc. My but given enough time in planning, the public transportation in Columbus can probably get you where you need to be.


I say stick downtown if you want public transit. There are plenty of options with COTA, CoGo bikes, scooters, and Uber/Lyft. Yes Columbus is car dependent but being without a car is definitely manageable if you plan well in the beginning such as your apartment, work location, etc. For many of my COTA trips I use their trip planner app to best figure out my route. Although I wished they didn’t get rid of the Free2Move Jeeps because that would’ve been my one car excursion for groceries


No. Realistically most people will need a car to live here, or nearly anywhere in the Midwest. I wish it weren’t so, and it may improve, but no one should move here under the illusion that they can live without a vehicle without structuring their lifestyle around that.


Columbus is not totally public transport friendly. COTA (bus) exists in both the city and some suburbs (not in mine, would need to travel next door) but that is it for the area.


No, delayed way too often and you 80% of the time will need lengthy connections to go anywhere


What the hell is “public transportation”?


Transportati8n that isn't private.


I think he forgot the /s


I hope so


I’m not sure it’s as much that he forgot it as it’s very clearly a joke so the /s isn’t necessary lol


Columbus is reasonable. I ride the bus to work, doctor, malls, entertainment. It doesn't run after like 10 pm though. But I get around fairly well.


Very doable. You will spend no more than $60 a month using the cota app it has a cap limit. Just make sure you work inside 270 and plan on spending an hour or two a day using the bus line and walking back and forth to your destination.


If you live in the downtown/short north area then 100% the busses are great


I live and work in Columbus and don’t have a car! It’s definitely doable if you live and work in the right neighborhood. Downtown, short north, German village, arena district, and campus area are all great if you don’t want a car but can definitely get expensive. I’ve had a good experience as a daily COTA rider on the 1,2,5, and 102, but can’t really speak to anything beyond that. I’ve found the neighborhoods I listed to be pretty walkable, but personally I think biking in Columbus is kind of terrifying. Feel free to pm me with any questions! Best of luck with your move :)


It’s not that reliable or easy for the most part. But you can plan your life a bit to make it pretty doable. By planning I mean stay in an area with lots of options for short to mid direct lines to the places you need regularly. Campus and High St. in general are prolly the best options. I think you’ll find Columbus to be a great place to live in after what I can only assume is a more remote area. I know it was for me. Good luck.


I will definitely say that in Columbus everything are spread out. You will have to ride a bus for about an hour just for getting to literally anywhere. Everything was at the center of the city and people used public transportations everyday decades ago, but not any more.


Plan on getting a car The closet city with I reckon any sort of reliable public transport is Chicago. Mind you it ain’t great.


We really only have COTA buses, which aren’t super reliable but I don’t think they’re abysmal either. My main complaint is that I wish they were more frequent, as most lines only have one bus every half hour, so if you miss the bus you’re stuck waiting for over thirty minutes (because they’re never on time). On the flip side though, I’ve lived in the campus area and between biking and bussing having rarely had trouble getting where I needed to, but that’s mostly because my main destinations are basically downtown/short north which is more well served by the bus system than any other areas


If you live right on high street and take the lines that go up and down its doable If you live west of 315 or east of i71 then good luck


Columbus has public transit?


COTA does run a few relatively frequent bus lines and if you live in a sufficiently walkable neighborhood (check walkscore.com and go for anything 80 or higher) you’d be fine. That said, if you’re looking for an Ohio city with better public transit, the best option is Cleveland. It would still take some research to make sure you find the right neighborhood but if so you could have a great life in Cleveland car free.


I rode COTA from 2009-2015 exclusively until I had to get a car because there wasn’t a feasible route. I lived in King Lincoln but worked in Gahanna. I recommend from experience you find a place to live near a grocery store if you don’t plan to get a car. Downtown does not have easily walkable grocery stores unless you live near the brewery district kroger. I’ve excluded hills market because it’s price, but if you can afford it then by all means. Second I would try to live as close as possible to your desired job. It absolutely is not worth it to rely on COTA for a job that’ll have you transferring lines. I have no idea how I did it all those years ago. I had to take the 10 to the 2 and then the bus that takes you on 5th eastbound for a job, it was an hour and a half at best on what would be a a 15 minute drive.