June 24, 2022

(June 24, 2022) Columbia, SC – The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) announced that as of July 1, 2022, it would suspend Route 97, which provides service to Batesburg-Leesville in Lexington County. The decision was made by the organization’s Board of Directors due to low ridership on the route.

The COMET launched Route 97 as a pilot in January 2020 as part of the service enhancements previously approved by the Board of Directors. The rural route connected the West Columbia SuperStop at Williams Drive at Charleston Highway and Batesburg-Leesville via Lexington and operated three trips to West Columbia and two trips to Batesburg-Leesville every Thursday. For those that needed door-to-door assistance, the route also deviated up to one mile off-route allowing passengers to “flag” the bus in-between bus stops in Batesburg-Leesville for an additional $2.00 charge.

“We understand that there is a need for viable transportation services in this area to connect eastern Lexington County with services and opportunities in western Lexington County and Richland County,” said Derrick Huggins, Interim CEO of The COMET. “We will take this time to work with Batesburg-Leesville’s leadership and community to explore what type of service we can develop that will work best for them to meet their transportation needs cost-effectively and efficiently.”

This service was funded with rural Federal funds provided by the Federal Transit Administration through the South Carolina Department of Transportation and local funds from Lexington County.


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 portions of 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 The COMET information, please call (803) 255-7100, TDD/TTY: 711 through the relay service, email: or visit

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