IMPROVED AND UPGRADED COMET CENTRAL REOPENS DOWNTOWN WITH MANDATORY MASK REQUIREMENT
(June 16, 2020) Columbia, SC – The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) reopened its downtown transit hub today with capital upgrades and a mandatory mask requirement. The hub, now known as COMET Central, has been closed since late March when the governor’s state of emergency and COVID-19 safety precautions shut it down. The reopening today also includes the upgrades to the Columbia Place Mall SuperStop off of Two Notch Road.
The COMET had been scheduled to upgrade COMET Central and the Columbia Place Mall SuperStop in the first quarter of 2020. When the pandemic hit, more adjustments had to be considered in order to ensure increased safety and security of the facilities. The COMET received funding through the CARES Act, which helped to pay for safety and security upgrades of the two locations at a total cost of approximately $498,000.
“The upgrades to these two locations are long overdue. There were many things needed in order to make access to The COMET services a pleasant experience for those needing to ride for essential travel,” said John Andoh, Executive Director/CEO of The COMET. “We were fortunate to receive money from the CARES Act which allowed us to make the necessary replacements and improvements for the benefit and safety of our riders.”
The following is a list of all upgrades made to both locations for reference.
Improvements to COMET Central:
- Installed security fence
- Installed Short Story Dispenser, Little Free Library, rocking chairs, debit machine, ATM, vending machines and change machine
- Provide newspapers to customers
- Increased cleaning and sanitizing of facility
- Yellow Shirt Ambassador
- Increased Police support onsite
- Provided additional security and janitorial
- Renamed from Sumter Street Transit Center to COMET Central with signage
- Provide visitor information in coordination with Experience Columbia SC
- Decorated the windows
- Added Blue Bike Station
- Added smoking pedestals and trashcans
- Implemented a new pulse system
- Renovated the information counter
- Updated digital bulletin boards.
Improvements to Columbia Place Mall SuperStop:
- Consolidated four bus stops into one central location with bus shelters, trash cans, benches, lean bars, lighting.
- Landscaping improvements, sidewalks
- Merged The 501, Routes 53X, 55 and 75 into one location
- 6 bus bays
- 3 shelters
- 2 benches
- 8 lean rails
- ADA accessible