Free Bus Rides Coming to Downtown Columbia

New Comet route will go between the Vista and Five Points

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- If you visit or work in downtown Columbia, there will soon be a free bus service to all the hot spots.

Starting in September, the COMET will be offering the free services to all patrons on a teal-colored bus, called the Soda Cap Connector. The routes will run down Gervais Street, through the Vista and 5 Points, as well as the University of South Carolina, Allen University and Benedict College.

"Parking is not terribly expensive, but it can be hard to find. We want to provide that mobility that says, 'Hey, I'm already here and I want to go there'," said Sam Scheib, the planning director at the COMET. 

According to Scheib, the bus service will be free to patrons thanks to the Penny Tax. 

One concern residents have about the Soda Cap Connector is that the routes do not go onto Main Street.

"There's so many things that we hope the city will continue to promote, and this just seemed to ignore it," said Earl Ellis.

Scheib said he understands the concern, but this route is direct and will be walk-able to Main Street.

The buses are expected to come by every seven to 15 minutes.

The routes will operate from 10am until 6pm Tuesday through Saturday, once the college students return from summer vacation.


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