July 5, 2023

(July 5, 2023) Columbia, SC – Stay tuned for a fun and family-friendly way to learn about transit and transportation in the Midlands. The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) has partnered with the local CBS affiliate to air vignettes during WLTX News 19 every Thursday during the 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts, beginning July 6.

The :30 second vignettes, named COMET Chat, feature The COMET’s Director of Marketing and Ming-Ming, an adorable Shih Tzu who serves as the volunteer “Chief Pawsitivity Specialist”. The COMET Chat/COMET in the City Project is designed to provide fun tips in an entertaining way to help visitors and others unfamiliar with the premiere public transportation system discover how they can travel to restaurants, lodging, the airport, and attractions in the City of Columbia safely, reliably, and economically. The hosts (Pam and Ming-Ming, the Shih Tzu) will visit destinations of interest to locals and tourists alike using COMET Fixed Route, The Soda Cap Connector, USC Transit and other modes of transportation offered by the transit system while highlighting all the places you can go and all the things you can do when you Catch The COMET.

Most of the four-minute COMET in the City spotlights with Kelly Nash are interviews with Pam and Ming-Ming aboard the Soda Cap Connector, which explores the business districts in the city center. The COMET in the City Spotlights with Kelly Nash will air quarterly beginning July 13 at noon and show off the best of the heart of Columbia.

“During our spotlights with Kelly, we will highlight local businesses, welcome visitors, and identify pet friendly spots- since 70% of people are pet owners and people are increasingly traveling with their pet,” said Pamela Bynoe-Reed, Director of Marketing and Community Affairs for The COMET. “We will also (re)introduce our audience to some unique and innovative services, such as Vanpool, Travel Training, and PASS programs for schools and businesses which allow students and staff to ride free”.

COMET Chat will include 12 months of topics, such as, “How to Ride”, “Safety, Security and Amenities highlights”, “Accessibility for visitors with disabilities”  as well as feature restaurants, arts, entertainment and attractions. Topics change monthly with the first segment featuring The COMET’s “Pet Policy”, followed by “Pass Program with Allen, Benedict, Columbia College and Midlands Tech” and “Intro to USC Transit, powered by The COMET”.

“This is an exciting time to launch the first vignettes because visitors and locals alike are in the area for recreation, business, or to prepare for school in the Fall,” adds Bynoe-Reed. “We are thrilled to show what a great transportation system we have available in the Midlands.”