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COMET offering free bus rides to local groups

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The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority is offering free bus rides to several groups of local educators, students and businesspeople.

Effective immediately, students, employees and faculty of Columbia College, Allen University students, employees, faculty and alumni, and Lexington Medical Center employees can ride the COMET for free by showing an identification card from the approved organizations, according to a news release.  

Previous partnerships, which COMET officials said can bring in replacement revenue that can be used to match federal grants, included free rides offered to employees of McEntire Produce, Nephron Pharmaceuticals and Prisma Health, as well as students, employees and faculty of Richland 1, Richland 2, and Lexington/Richland 5 school districts.

The COMET is also opening a park-and-ride location in Chapin starting Monday. Residents can park at Mt. Horeb Church at 101 East Boundary St., and the I-26 Express to Newberry will be rerouted to serve that location. The park-and-ride lot will have up to 25 spaces and be available for use at no cost Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“Since transit service has been provided to Chapin, the park and ride lot location has moved between several locations,” John Andoh, executive director and CEO of the COMET, said in a news release. “The COMET and Mt. Horeb are very proud of this partnership and (are) looking forward to becoming the congestion buster in the I-26 corridor, especially when Carolina Crossroads begin(s) construction.”

The I-26 Express, or Route 93X, will depart Chapin for Columbia at 7:10 a.m. and return around 6:15 p.m.

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