When I was applying for grad school to Ohio State, I often wondered what the transportation system in Columbus would be like. This was a big concern for me because I had become accustomed to living on campus at Fairmont State University in West Virginia were I was studying. Also, I did not, and still do not yet own a car, so I had questions about how I would travel from my place of residence to campus once I started school at OSU.
Likewise, you might be wondering whether you’ll need a car once you start living in Columbus or, if you live in another state, whether you’ll need to drive your car here so you can use it. If that is the case, worry not, dear reader, COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) and CABS (Campus Area Bus Service) have you covered.
To be frank, our campus is huge. Walking from one end of campus to the other can be time consuming and tiring. This is were CABS comes in. This service is available to OSU students for trips within the Columbus campus area. There are bus stops at almost every corner of the Columbus campus area and there is an app that provides students with real time bus tracking to figure out bus routes and arrival or departure times. This makes getting around campus super convenient and hassle free.
COTA, the central Ohio public transit, is the transportation system I use the most. I live in University Village (UV), an apartment complex that’s about two miles away from Fisher, and although UV has a shuttle that runs to and from campus, I often use COTA because the COTA bus gets to campus quicker and there are COTA buses that run as late as 12:10 a.m. Like CABS, COTA also has a real time bus tracking app which makes it super easy to plan a trip. Just remember to carry your BuckID as this will be the means of payment, otherwise most trips cost roughly $2.
For those of you who may be looking to live further away from campus, COTA is a reliable means of commuting because bus routes are extensive and cover a pretty wide area of central Columbus. With that said, I can safely say you shouldn’t feel tied to accommodation options that are close to campus because there is a good public transport system for you to use if you decide to live, let’s say 6 miles away from campus. In your evaluation of apartments and neighborhoods, I encourage you to visit the COTA website to see if the COTA bus services the area in question. Even if you have a car, using the bus could save you some money on gas and paying for campus parking space.