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Published on April 7th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


The COMET Upcoming Transit Leadership Academy

The COMET is accepting applications for the upcoming Transit Leadership Academy, starting Monday April 23rd and running until June 11, 2018. This program will last for eight consecutive Mondays, from 5:50pm to 8:00pm, The COMET staff will provide a behind the scenes look, and inform Midlands Residents about the functions, capabilities, and services of this nearly $20 million annual budgeted agency. The COMET is primarily funded by the Richland County Transportation Penny Sales Tax, and this Transit Academy is an opportunity for citizens to take deep dive into how the organization works. This will be the third class of the Academy and it is free and currently open to residents of Richland County [only].

For more than 125 years there has been some form of mass transit in Columbia. During this time there has been change, turmoil, progress, regression and more progress. An agency that once ran electric trolleys and was funded by the public utility, is now a public transit bus system currently with a dedicated funding source, and a bright future. However, we cannot rest on our laurels, there are still many challenges ahead.

At the COMET academy you will learn about how we are financed, structured, operated; how we serve our existing passengers and cultivate new ones; how we plan and adapt our services to a changing community; without ignoring those who have been with the system for generations. Students will hear from board members, coach operators, supervisors, bus riders and staff of the regional transit authority; have the opportunity sample technologies, ride buses, and use a wheelchair lift and much, much more.

To apply to attend, go to find the link to a short application. For additional questions please contact Tiffany James at

Previous Graduates include:

1st Class

1. Lee Patterson – Richland Public Library

2. Hayes Mizell – Transportation Penny Action Committee

3. Amy Ely Johnson – Palmetto Cycling Coalition

4. Michael Dantzler – Artist, Photographer

5. Kimberly Tissot – ABLE SC

6. Lila Anna Sauls – Richland School District One Board Member, Homeless No More

7. James Shadd – Richland School District Two Board Member

8. Nimai Garrett – Allen University

9. Patricia Greer – Midlands Transit Riders Association

10. Roosevelt Barnwell – USC

2nd Class

1. Joyce H. Mason – Member – Midlands Transit Riders Association

2. Michael Medsker – NASA Retiree, Resident of the Summit

3. Elle Matney – City of Columbia Parking Director

4. Pam Morris – USC

5. Crystal McDonald – Columbia Urban League

6. Landon Masters – SC Department of Energy

7. Larrisa Mcdowell – Senior Care Resources

8. D’Jaris “DJ” Douglas – Transport Care Services

9. Arlene Prince – The COMET

10. Crystal Willis – The COMET


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