October 10, 2022

(October 10, 2022) Columbia, SC – With great sadness, the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) family announces that its Interim CEO and Executive Director, Derrick Huggins, passed away unexpectedly Friday morning.

A multi-faceted transportation and community leader, Huggins displayed talent, ingenuity, and commitment to everything he touched. He was a long-time board member of The COMET and served as board chair up to his recent appointment as Interim CEO & Executive Director in November of 2021 after a successful tenure as a transportation executive with the University of South Carolina.

“The COMET board of directors extends our condolences and sympathy to the family of Derrick Huggins. We are saddened at this very unexpected loss, as so many of us just had conversations with him in recent days and were making future plans together. Derrick was not only the CEO of the COMET. He had been a Board member and Board Chair, and we all knew him not only professionally but also personally. He will be missed.” said Board Chair, Allison Terracio.

LeRoy DesChamps, Chief Operating Officer will assume oversight of the organization at this time as the Board of Directors makes plans for the future.


About The COMET:  The COMET is a service of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority and provides countywide public transit services on 34 fixed routes, OnDemand/ReFlex services, vanpool service for commuters, subsidy programs with Uber and Lyft and DART for transportation to grocery stores and at night, ADA complementary paratransit service throughout Richland and eastern Lexington Counties and eight Blue Bike bikeshare stations in Downtown Columbia. The COMET transports approximately 2.4 million passenger trips a year on a fleet of more than 80 buses, vans, and trolleys. Transit services are provided under contract with RATP Dev USA, Enterprise Holdings, Lyft, Uber and Bewegen. For additional COMET information, please call (803) 255-7100, TDD/TTY: 711 through the relay service, email: or visit

Catch The COMET…We Will Take You There!