Mayor’s Stage: COTA Plus is Grove City’s dedicated community bus service

Richard "Ike" Stage
Grove City Mayor

In July 2019, Grove City became the first community to partner with COTA and offer a new on-demand rideshare service for residents and workers in the city.

The service was well received and quickly became widely utilized, creating a demand for a wider service area.

Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage

Today I can proudly say Grove City officially has a bus service dedicated solely for our community. COTA Plus meets the door-to-door, on-demand transportation needs of workers and residents in Grove City, Urbancrest and Jackson Township as our exclusive provider of public transportation.

Drivers employed and professionally trained by COTA operate six new vehicles with a level of care and hometown personal touch you would expect from a Grove City-sponsored service. It’s an incredibly comfortable experience to begin a COTA Plus ride where you immediately feel welcome and safe.

All of the COTA Plus transportation buses are physically manageable for riders, with wide sliding doors, low step-up entry and comfortable seating. The fleet also includes a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for individuals who need mobility assistance.

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Ride fares are reasonable at $3 per trip ($2 per trip for seniors) and free when connecting with an established COTA stop. Now all of Grove City’s more than 25,000 employed individuals working in the city and 43,000-plus residents may arrange transportation service 20 minutes ahead of time by calling 614-308-4400 or utilizing the COTA Plus app.

One great advantage to having an area-exclusive COTA Plus service is the improved transportation options available to our residents ages 55 and older. We now provide our senior community longer, more flexible busing hours, more vehicles with improved accessibility and more convenient scheduling and payment options.

Our previous senior bus service operated strictly out of the Evans Center weekdays during office hours. COTA Plus buses run Mondays through Fridays, with expanded hours of 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. This provides more than 70 hours of weekly service, nearly doubling the previous hours of operation, and making it easier to access transportation for medical appointments, to pick up meals, run errands or visit family.

In the past, users were required to request a ride at least three days in advance, making transportation difficult when spur-of-the-moment needs occurred. Now riders can hail a COTA Plus bus on-demand, and it arrives within 20 minutes, making unplanned trips easier to manage.

With payments made securely through the COTA Plus app or over the phone, this has become the safest, most convenient public and senior transportation service we’ve ever been able to offer our community.

Richard “Ike” Stage is the mayor of Grove City.