Although Columbus is a great walkable city, it's also easy to get around. There are lots of great options to get around the city by car, bike or bus. Here are ways you can get around Columbus when you're here:
Uber connects people looking for rides with available transportation providers. For those not familiar with this service, Uber works in an on-demand fashion. You can't pre-arrange as far in advance as you can for taxi service, but a simple push of a button will connect you to a transportation provider who will pick you up in minutes. The app finds the available drivers closest to you in real time, giving you an estimated pick up time (with a text message alert or phone call when your driver is very close.) Payment is handled entirely through the app and there is no need to exchange money or swipe a credit card at the end of your trip. An average fare between downtown and Port Columbus International Airport is $15, though in times of high demand, surge pricing may come into effect. UberBLACK, the more luxurious option, has drivers that are licensed chauffeurs and drive black luxury sedans or SUVs. They carry commercial insurance and are often limo company drivers who take Uber fares during downtime. UberBLACK service generally runs at around a 40% premium compared to a taxi service.
The CBUS, operated by COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority), is a FREE downtown circulator that runs every 10-15 minutes from the Short North Arts District to the Brewery District. Pick up the CBUS right near the Greater Columbus Convention Center and head down to explore the brick streets of German Village. While you're there, you can enjoy dinner at Barcelona or a Columbus-favorite Pistacia Vera Macaron. The CBUS runs Monday-Thursday 7 -9 a.m., Friday 7 a.m. midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. midnight and Sunday 10:30 a.m. 6 p.m
Using a car-sharing service is as simple as getting in, going to your destination and parking. Car2Go serves the Central Ohio area, providing on-demand access to a network of 300 Smart cars, with access to Easton Town Center, The Ohio State University, and to/from Port Columbus International Airport via The Parking Spot. Members can take one-way trips for $0.41/minute with parking, fuel, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, GPS navigation, 24/7 customer support and roadside assistance all included. You only pay for the minutes you're holding on to the car. And the charges are billed directly to your credit card. Begin and end your trip at any City of Columbus on-street parking space that is metered or has a time limit inside the car2go Home Area.
For those looking for a little exercise, the CoGo Bike program is a great way to get around downtown. The CoGo Network spans 300+ bicycles and 30 stations located throughout downtown Columbus, including a station right in front of the convention center. The bikes are available for use 24 hours/day, 365 days/year with unlimited 30-minute trips. A 24 hour pass is $6. You can view the CoGo stations here.
If you have a lot of extra spare time, or extended your trip with your family, COTA now offers a Zoo Bus from Downtown Columbus to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Zoombezi Bay. Head out and explore the #1 Zoo in America with the newly opened Heart of Africa exhibit, or splash into Zoombezi Bay. The Zoo Bus picks up at the Statehouse, High St. & Broad St. High St. & Gay St. Spring St. & Wall St., Spring St. & Marconi Blvd. and the Griggs Dam Park & Ride. Ask the bus operator for a transfer/coupon and receive half-off regular Zoo admission or $4 off Zoombezi Bay admission at the Zoo entrance for the day of the ride. The bus fare is only $2 each way!
Look for the pin! In Columbus, we're dedicated to providing visitors with an amazing experience. Look for the Greater Columbus Certified Tourism Ambassadors wearing a gold star pin. This shows that they are fully trained and certified to assist you with whatever you may need. You can find more great options here or download the printable transportation guide and bring it with you the next time you're in Columbus!