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Published on July 3rd, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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ECM SUPPORT SERVICES LAUNCHES THE FIRST THE COMET VANPOOL PROGRAM

Columbia, SC – In December 2018, The COMET launched The COMET Vanpool, a one-year pilot to subsidize 20 purple and white vans at $500 per month not to exceed $120,000 per year as long as van originates or ends in Richland or Lexington Counties.  The service is provided by Commute With Enterprise.  The first The COMET Vanpool that has started is with ECM Support Services, out of West Columbia, South Carolina.  ECM Support Services provides support and services to adults with Autism and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  They are a qualified service provider licensed and funded through the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. 

Van pricing with Commute With Enterprise starts at $950. Many sizes are available in a Ford Transit Van, Nissan Pathfinder as well as various types of luxury vans.   Additional amenities such as bike racks and wheelchair lift can be added for an additional cost.  The van pricing does not include gasoline, van washing and taxes, however, employers and employees, through the IRS can pursue pre-tax benefits to subsidize a portion of the commuting costs via a vanpool. 

If emergences arise, Commute With Enterprise will provide an Emergency Ride Home program available when vanpool participants need an earlier ride home due to unforeseen circumstances.

The COMET Vanpool is meant to be a service that will help be the catalyst towards the implementation of a future bus routes if demand presents the need.  Potential destinations that The COMET Vanpool would target includes WP Rawl, CMC Steel, Amazon, China Jushi, JUUL, Nephron, Samsung and TRANE, as well as other employer sites with large commuting populations.

The average driver spends about $750 a month on fuel and car expenses, whereas the average van pool rider spends about $85 to 95 a month based off seven people in one van paying the overall vanpool costs, according to The COMET’s Executive Director/CEO, John Andoh.

“You don’t have to put the wear and tear on your car, and plus with it being a van the cost gets lower because you can fit more people,” Andoh said.

Details are available by calling 1-800-VAN-4-WORK or visit https://www.commutewithenterprise.com/ to start a new vanpool, register to join an existing vanpool or for more information. 

About The COMET

The COMET is a service of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority and provides countywide public transit services on 38 fixed routes, two ReFlex services, vanpool service, subsidy programs with Uber and Lyft and DART ADA complementary paratransit service throughout Richland and western Lexington Counties. The COMET transports approximately 2.8 million passenger trips a year on a fleet of 81 buses and vans. Transit services are provided under contract with Transdev Service, Inc of Lombard, Illinois. For additional The COMET information, please call (803) 255-7100, TDD/TTY: 711 through the relay service, email: info@catchthecomet.org or visit www.catchthecomet.org. Catch The COMET…We Will Take You There!

About Enterprise Rideshare

A service of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rideshare was founded in 1994 and has become a national leader in providing customized vanpool programs and commuter services for individuals and companies across the country. Enterprise Rideshare manages vanpool programs that address both local and national needs by reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, while providing commuters with a smarter, better way to get to work. Zimride, the largest ride-matching program in the United States, also supports Enterprise Rideshare. For more information about Enterprise Rideshare or to get a vanpool started in your area, visit www.enterpriserideshare.com or call 800 VAN-4-WORK. 


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