Reimagine The COMET - A Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) and Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP)

November 20, 2020

In August 2020, The COMET and Central Midlands Council of Governments launched Reimagine The COMET, a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) and Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP). SRTP's and COAs are in-depth studies that analyze transit agency services. Reimagine The COMET will pinpoint the strengths and challenges in the current system while utilizing data and public input to identify ways to improve The COMET service.

Reimagine The COMET has three goals:

  • Improve the experience for existing Reimagine The COMET customers
  • Grow new and more frequent ridership on Reimagine The COMET
  • Build Reimagine The COMET efficiency and effectiveness as a mobility provider

Why is Reimagine The COMET conducting an analysis of its bus system?
Like many other public transit agencies Reimagine The COMET ridership is declining. Transit agencies across the country are embarking on comprehensive studies to better address declining ridership, improve the customer experience, and adjust to changing market trends.

In Richland and Lexington Counties, demographic, growth and technology patterns have changed significantly over the past five years. With new emerging mobility companies proliferating, Richland and Lexington Counties residents have more options than ever when making a trip. Reimagine The COMET will make recommendations that allow The COMET to stay relevant and become a first choice for customers and community members alike.

Finally, with the passage of Richland County Penny in 2013, The COMET has a unique opportunity to reimagine and reshape its bus system to meet the changing needs of Richland and Lexington Counties and ensure we are providing the best bus system possible.

What is the project timeline?
Reimagine The COMET launched in Summer 2020 and is anticipated to be complete in Summer 2021.

Fall 2019 – Winter 2020: Existing conditions and public outreach; analyze the current state of the The COMET bus system; conduct market research on what riders and potential riders want out of The COMET bus service
Fall 2020: Develop a shared vision for the project and guidelines for how The COMET will design bus service
Fall 2020 – Winter 2021: Develop up to three alternative route changes for each route in the system
Spring 2021: Public outreach; receive input on three alternatives route systems with details on each individual route; develop a preferred bus system based on input
Summer 2021: Public outreach; conduct outreach on a single proposed bus system; refine and develop plan for implementing new bus system
Summer 2021: The COMET Board adoption of new bus system
Fall/Winter 2021: Implementation of updated bus route network

If you have any questions, please contact our project team at or visit Reimagine The COMET website.