Frequently Asked Questions

About CoGo

What is bicycle sharing, and how is it different from traditional bicycle rental?

Similar to car sharing, bicycle sharing describes a membership-based system of short-term bicycle rental. Members check a bicycle out from a network of automated stations, ride to the station nearest their destination, and leave the bicycle safely locked for someone else to use. The emphasis is on short trips where the bicycle is returned within 30 minutes to keep it in circulation where it can be shared with others. This is different from traditional bicycle rental where you keep possession of the bicycle for an extended period (half-day, full-day or longer).

While bicycle sharing can be very affordable for short trips, pricing is set to discourage longer trips: with your pass, each 30-minute trip is free, but usage fees are added for every additional 30-minute period that you keep the bicycle without re-docking it. The bicycles are designed and built to withstand the rigors of constant use and exposure; they are well made, but heavier than you’d want to ride for an extended period.

Bikes can be returned to any station anywhere in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible connection points and combinations of departures and arrivals

What are the benefits of bicycle sharing?

Bicycle sharing has numerous benefits for individuals and society. Public bicycle sharing appeals to people because it offers 24/7 self-service access to bicycles for short trips without the hassle of maintenance or storage. Bicycle sharing complements traditional transit by expanding its reach, providing residents and visitors alike more options to travel in and around town. Bicycle sharing is a clean, affordable, healthy and FUN option for getting around.

How were the station sites chosen?

Working with the City of Columbus, CoGo Bike Share chose locations that are convenient for travel, close to landmarks and allow bikers easy access to safe transit from one station to another. Our goal is to showcase all the wonderful amenities Columbus has, including its family-friendly science center COSI, nationally recognized Columbus Metropolitan Library, a bustling convention center, a great arts, food, and entertainment scene and other options.

What other cities have bicycle share, and how do they compare?

Bicycle sharing services are currently available in over 200 cities. Some of the largest systems in the world, including Bay Area Bike Share (California Bay Area), Citi Bike (New York and Jersey City), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C.; Arlington and Alexandria, Va.; and Montgomery County, Md.), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, Mass.), Pronto (Seattle), Bike Chattanooga (Tenn.), Bike Share Toronto and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia. More city programs are launching each year!

What is a station, a dock, and a kiosk?

A station is the row of bikes that can be found throughout Columbus. They are solar powered, and each station consists of a variable number of bike docking ports.

A dock is what holds each individual bicycle. The bicycles are locked into the docks and must be unlocked using a bike key or ride code. Each dock contains a slot for the bike key and a keypad where ride codes can be entered. Docks also have a red, yellow and green light. If a dock is showing a red light, it means that the bike is broken and cannot be unlocked.

A kiosk is the structure that can be found at each CoGo station. The kiosk contains information about how the system works, as well as a touchscreen that can be used to buy passes, get ride codes, and redeem gift certificates.

How It Works

Who can use CoGo Bike Share?

CoGo Bike Share is available to everyone 18 years of age and older (16 and 17 year olds are permitted with a parent or guardian) with a credit or debit card. Bicycle sharing serves a variety of needs for practically any kind of trip, helping commuters and visitors alike to get where they are going faster and better, whether they are trying to get across town at rush hour, running an errand, visiting attractions, or enjoying downtown Columbus with friends.

Is there a smartphone app?

Yes! Transit provides a map of station locations, real-time availability, and the ability to purchase day passes and generate release codes for casual riders and annual members.

How does CoGo Bike Share work?

CoGo Bike Share is designed to be a convenient way to get around town, and is ideal for short rides and one-way trips. Join as a member or buy a short-term pass, and you’ll get access to 365 bikes across the Columbus area. Pick up a bike at one of 46 stations whenever you need one, and drop it off at any other station when you’re done with your ride. Take as many rides as you want while your pass or membership is active. Visit How It Works to learn more.

How do I take a bike out?

First, you need to become an Annual Member or buy one of our Day Passes to be able to use CoGo Bike Share. Then, find available bikes on the System Map.

If you're a member, you can insert your bike key into a dock to unlock a bike; or if you don't have your key with you, you can use Transit to get a mobile ride code. If you purchase a Day Pass from a kiosk, you'll get a ride code, which you'll type into the keypad on the dock. Once you've successfully inserted your member bike key or entered a ride code, the light on the dock will turn green. This means the bike is unlocked. To remove it from the dock, lift the bike up and out by the seat to release it.

To ride again while your pass is still active, just request a new ride code using the same payment card (don't worry, you won't be charged again).

How long can I keep a bike out?

The first 30 minutes of each ride are included in the membership or pass price. You can keep a bike out for longer, but additional usage fees apply. Please see the Annual Membership and Day Pass pages for more pricing details.

How do I return a bike?

You can return your bike to any station with an open dock – you don't have to bring it back to the station where you picked it up. Find available docks on the System Map and on the Transit mobile app. Line up the triangle located at the front of the bike with the dock and insert your bike gently but firmly. Wait until the light on the dock turns green to make sure it's locked.

Why do rides lasting longer than 30 minutes cost more?

Bike share is designed for short rides and one-way trips. Rides are limited in length to make sure that bikes are available for all users to “share” throughout the day. That’s why only the first 30 minutes of each ride are included in the pass price, and why extra fees apply for longer trips – to encourage riders to use bike share for short trips and to return their bikes within this amount of time.

What are the fees if you keep a bike out longer than 30 minutes?

If you keep a bike out for longer than 30 minutes at a time, you will be charged extra usage fees per additional 30 minutes. Please see the Annual Membership and Day Pass pages for more information.

Safety

Is bicycle sharing safe?

Yes! CoGo bicycles are solid, adjustable and easy to ride. They feature front and rear lights, bells, fenders and chain guards, and are routinely maintained by professional mechanics. Data from other systems has shown that the crash rate for bicycle share customers is lower than among cyclists at large. See all of our bicycle features.

What about helmets?

Helmets are required for cyclists under the age of 18 per Columbus City Code 2173.04. We do recommend that all riders wear helmets, and you are encouraged to bring your own. CoGo Bike Share offers coupons for Annual Members of 15% off a helmet at Paradise Garage and Revolution Cycles.

Will CoGo ever close for inclement weather?

Safety is extremely important to CoGo Bike Share; therefore, CoGo Bike Share may temporarily suspend service in times of inclement weather. If inclement weather threatens user safety, CoGo Bike Share will close temporarily and no bikes will be rented. Closure and re-opening information will be posted to the website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Annual members and subscribers to System Updates will be informed of closure via email.

Memberships

What is the price to join?

Annual Membership: $75

Annual Membership (Installment Plan): $7/month

3-Day Pass: $18

Day Pass: $8

Bicycle sharing systems are designed for short trips from point A to B. Annual Members and Pass Riders may take as many trips as they like lasting up to 30 minutes for included. Rides lasting longer than 30 minutes incur additional costs based on how long you keep the bicycle. So, take it to get where you're going and then return the bicycle so someone else can share it. Or extend your trip and pay a little extra. Visit the pricing page for more information.

How do I sign up for a membership?

You can sign up for a membership through this website. Please see the Annual Membership page for more details.

Troubleshooting

What if a station is full or there are no bicycles at a station?

If you arrive at a full station, you may use the kiosk to request an additional 15 minutes of free time be added to your trip and find a nearby station with available docking spaces. You can always check real-time bicycle and dock availability online or on a smartphone. Members may also call the CoGo customer service line 24 hours a day for assistance.

CoGo Bike Share employees regularly circulate throughout the system to redistribute bicycles and ensure an appropriate balance of available bicycles and docks at each station. They track system usage to learn the patterns of how the bicycles are used so that they can fine-tune station sizes and redistribution schedules to meet demand.

What if a bicycle gets stolen while it's checked out?

Customers are responsible for their bicycles from the time they remove it from a dock until they securely dock it again. If, for example, a customer leaves a bicycle undocked while running errands and the bicycle is stolen, the customer is responsible and will be required to pay for its replacement. If a CoGo Bike Share bicycle is stolen while it is checked out, the customer needs to file a police report by calling the Columbus Division of Police information line at 614-645-4760 and by calling CoGo Bike Share customer service at 1-855-553-4889 to resolve the situation.

What is the replacement cost of a bicycle?

The cost to replace a CoGo Bike Share bicycle is $1,200.

What should I do if there's a problem with my bike?

If there’s a problem with your bike, please dock it at the nearest station and press the button on the dock with a wrench symbol on it. This will turn the light on the dock red so no one else can use the bike before our technicians can fix it. You can also turn the seat backward on a red-lighted bike, so members can see from afar that it’s broken.

What should I do if my ride code isn't working?

If you’ve entered your code correctly into keypad on the dock, and the light on the dock isn’t turning green, there may be a few reasons why your ride code isn’t working:

  • The light on the dock is red → this means the bike is broken and can’t be unlocked
  • Something is wrong with the dock → occasionally, the technology on the dock may fail; if there's an issue, please let us know by calling 855-553-4889
  • The ride code expired → codes are only valid for 5 minutes for security purposes

If your ride code hasn’t expired, try the same code again on a different dock with an available bike. If it still isn’t working, you can request a new code from Transit App or the kiosk – just insert the same credit card again to get a new ride code (don’t worry, you won’t be charged again).