The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) announced schedule changes from an enhanced Sunday level of service to a Saturday level of service with added routes and increased frequency to accommodate peak demand times. There will also be on-demand service for select routes. The changes went into effect May 20. All transit services (The COMET, ReFlex, DART) will continue to be free during this time. The service schedule for Sunday will remain unchanged for that day of the week.
According to The COMET Executive Director/CEO, John Andoh, the changes were made in response to Governor McMaster’s announcement to reopen South Carolina.
“We are taking a graduated approach to carefully resume services. It is important that we continue to ensure safety and reliability to our riders and staff in providing the services of The COMET,” added Andoh.
Highlights of the changes include:
- The COMET will operate a Saturday level of service daily on the following routes: 6, 11, 12, 21, 22, 31, 32, 42, 45, 47, 55, 57L,61, 75, 77, 83L, 84, 88, 91, 92X, 96L, The 101, The 301, The 401, The 501, The 701, The 801 and Soda Cap 1.
- Route 97, which serves Batesburg-Leesville, will resume service and run every Thursday from 7 am – 7:30 pm
- Enhancement details for routes 101, 301, 401, 501 & 701
Routes will run every 30 minutes during service hours.
- Enhancement details for routes 801 (Route will run every 60 minutes other than the times listed)
- Route 801: Every 30 minutes (5:18 am – 9:40 am; 3:48 pm – 8:25 pm)
- Riders near Routes 46, 62, or 74 must call to have pick-up service from their nearest bus stop via a ReFlex bus for transportation to the nearest bus stop in The COMET service area. This on-demand service will be available Monday-Saturday only. Calls must be made one hour in advance to 803-255-7100, with reservations being accepted from 7 am until 6 pm The ReFlex bus will pick up within 30 minutes of the requested trip.
- Routes Soda Cap 2, 3, Orbit 4, IWC Shuttle 7, 44X, 53X, 76, and 93X will remain suspended until further notice.
- Blue Bike will resume service on June 1, 2020.
Safety measures will remain in place and include:
- Social distancing seating and capacity limited to 20 passengers on the larger buses and four passengers on the smaller shuttle vehicles
- One-way travel with mandatory deboarding at end of line in order to minimize any occurrence of individuals attempting to ride non-stop
- Continuation of rear door boarding to minimize driver exposure
- Strategically placed security at stops along the routes to help monitor adherence
- Riders strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while traveling
A listing of all affected routes and their frequencies accompanies this release and may be found on The COMET’s website