Travel and Transportation
Getting To Columbus
Columbus is within 550 miles, just a one-day drive or one-hour flight, from nearly half of the U.S. population.
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) has been named one of the best airports for passenger experience, earning the 2020 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award for Best Airport by Size and Region. John Glenn International is dedicated to making the airport experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Major carriers (in order of passenger volume in 2018) that service serve John Glenn International are: Southwest, American, Delta, United, Spirit, Frontier, and Air Canada. OneJet, Spirit Airlines, and Alaska Airlines also service John Glenn International. Serving more than 8.1 million passengers in 2018, more than 150 daily flights currently depart CMH to 42 destinations nonstop.
Five highways run through the city, including two major interstate highways, 70 and 71, making it easy to get to the city from any direction when driving.
Getting to Downtown Columbus
John Glenn International is just 10 minutes from downtown and traveling between the airport and downtown is easy, with a variety of options for doing so. Answers to any questions regarding transportation can be found at the welcome center in baggage claim.
AirConnect Express Bus
Express bus service runs between John Glenn International, the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) and downtown hotels. The connector stops at baggage claim every 30 minutes and costs $2.75 each way. Tickets can be purchased at a kiosk with credit cards (only) or on-board with cash (only).
Traditional taxi service provided by Yellow Cab of Columbus or Orange Cab of Columbus as well as ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber are available at the airport 24 hours a day. Average taxi fare from the airport to downtown is typically $25 and the average UberX or Lyft fare is approximately $15.
The following auto rental agencies have check-in counters on the ground floor of an on-site, attached garage at John Glenn International: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. For those who prefer an on-demand option, the world’s leading car-sharing network, Zipcar, also has vehicles of all sizes available for pick-up at the airport.
More than 30 charter bus, limousine and shuttle companies can accommodate pre-arranged transportation needs for an individual or groups from the airport to any point in the city.
Getting Around Columbus
It’s easy to explore the city outside of the confines of a meeting with so many accessible transportation options.
On Your Own Schedule
Columbus offers safe and walkable districts for all visitors. From the Greater Columbus Convention Center and headquarter hotels, attendees are across the street from a brewery as well as hundreds of local galleries, shops, dining, and nightlife in the Short North Arts District. Just a couple streets down, visitors can find quick-service dining at the North Market and numerous sports and entertainment venues in the Arena District.
In addition to Uber, Lyft, and Yellow Cab of Columbus, which can all be hailed using an app, Zipcar users can unlock a vehicle at any of the nearly 10 stations in the downtown area. Or, use FreeRide, a fully street-legal, open-air golf carts that serve downtown Columbus for free – just call, text, or hail one down!
For more environmentally friendly options, CoGo offers 365 bikes available for rent at 46 stations throughout downtown Columbus, for just $8/day, while Bird, Lyft, Lime, and Spin allow customers to locate and rent motorized electric scooters via an app for just $0.15/minute. Or, hire someone to do the pedaling for you with E.C.T. Pedicab, in operation most nights for $1.50/minute.
Our National Conference, NACAC 2016 was held in Columbus and our attendees loved the city. While we grew and had to extend our block out to the University, we used the CBUS as additional transportation for those attendees now staying a bit further from the center. This allowed us to save on shuttle costs, while also giving our attendees a true image of Columbus. While this was good, we also appreciated the opportunity to “live like a student” by utilizing the free CBUS for those attendees staying closer to the University. The CBUS was a great option for NACAC.
Shannon Burke, CMP, Director of Conference and Meetings, National Association for College Admission Counseling
On a Fixed Route
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) operates bus service in Columbus. The CBUS is a free downtown circulator that runs every 10-15 minutes from the Short North Arts District in the north to the Brewery District/German Village in the south, with stops at many popular downtown locations along the way. For as little as $4.50 a day, hop on COTA’s other routes to explore more of the city and beyond.
More information and a downloadable transportation guide can be found at getaroundcbus.com.