COTA Plus service will be available for residents attending the Rotary Club of Westerville’s 2022 Independence Day Celebration on Monday, July 4.

Independence DayCOTA Plus uses the green and blue minibuses you likely have seen around Westerville, which hold 6-10 passengers. The service operates similar to Uber or Lyft but costs just $3 for a one-way trip or $6 for a day pass, which covers unlimited rides.

Several drop-off and pick-up spots have been added near the Westerville Athletic Complex, 325 N. Cleveland Ave., where the Rotary will stage three of the four Independence Day Celebration events: the 5K Walk-run at 8 a.m., the Free Concert and Food Truck Festival from 5 p.m. until 9:45 p.m., and the Firework at 10 p.m. — which will be launched from nearby Heritage Park but best viewed from the Athletic Complex fields. (Heritage Park will be closed to visitors during the Fireworks due to safety concerns.)

And of course, residents can use the service to get to the Rotary Club of Westerville Independence Day Parade. The State Street parade returns this year after a two-year hiatus due to COVID. The procession begins at 10:30 a.m. (a new time this year!) at Old County Line Road, and proceeds south to Electric Avenue,

The parade traditionally draws 20,000 spectators. Get a COTA Plus ride from your home to the parade and back, and leave behind the hassle of driving in traffic and finding parking!

On-demand pickup from your home

COTA Plus is an on-demand service that offers point-to-point shared rides within all of Westerville, plus a neighboring portion of Columbus and connections to the CMAX Line, and COTA Line 102 to the Polaris Fashion Place mall.

Residents can schedule a ride by downloading the COTA PLUS app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or by calling in a request to 614-308-4400. Callers will be asked for their pick-up and drop-off addresses.

When you schedule your ride on the app, you will receive a text message with the vehicle license plate and estimated arrival time. Actual wait times vary, but in most cases the vehicle will arrive in 6-15 minutes after your request, COTA says. (Allow 20 minutes for an ADA wheelchair accessible vehicle, which is available upon request.)

The service launched in Westerville in August 2020 and normally operates from 5:30 am-8 pm. Monday–Friday.

But hours will be extended on Monday for Westerville’s July 4th Independence Day activities.

Hours on the 4th will be 7 a.m. to midnight, covering an hour before the Rotary 5K starts at 8 a.m. and an hour after the end of Rotary Westerville Fireworks show that starts at 10 p.m.

Find more information about this innovative service at www.cota.com/cotaplus, or just download the COTA Plus app on your smartphone to request a ride. For more information on the Rotary Club of Westerville’s 2022 Independence Day Celebration, see westervillerotary.com/july-4th-events.