Columbia, SC – Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) announced today that beginning Monday, April 12, fares will resume for the fixed route buses and the DART paratransit services. The downtown connector, Soda Cap, will no longer be free to ride, but will be $1.00 for basic fare, $.50 for discount half fare and $4.00 for basic all-day. Children under six years of age may ride free on all services and Seniors 65+, persons with disabilities, children aged 6-18 are eligible for the Discount Half Fare with proof of age, Medicare card, or The COMET Half Fare ID card.
Passengers taking advantage of The COMET’s “Don’t Miss Your Shot” campaign to receive their COVID-19 vaccine may ride the fixed route buses and DART paratransit services to their appointments for FREE. Details are at www.COMETCovidHelp.org.
The COMET fixed route and DART have operated fare free to the public since March of 2020. During this time, passengers boarded through the rear doors for the bus operators’ safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Transparent barriers have now been installed on all the vehicles and passengers will begin boarding through the front door on April 12. The mask requirement will continue to be in effect along with one-way travel per the Rules of the Road.
Many of The COMET riders have asked when the transit system would resume fares and have anxiously awaited the restoration of service. There were also requests from passengers that the popular Soda Cap Connector charge a nominal fee.
“As more of our bus operators and the public receive their COVID vaccines, we are carefully returning to normal,” said John Andoh, Executive Director/CEO of The COMET. “We appreciate our riders’ patience and understanding as we continue to navigate the circumstances of the pandemic together.”
The updated fee schedules can be found on The COMET’s website at http://catchthecometsc.gov/whats-new/the-comet-to-resume-fares-april-12-soda-cap-1-00-to-ride/