A New Bus Network… Redesigned

What is the new bus network?

A bus network redesign is a collaborative planning effort that incorporates community feedback to determine the layout of bus routes, when buses should run, and how frequent the service should be. The Reimagine The COMET project will examine the entire bus network.

system map

Did you know?

streetcar
The last time The COMET reviewed its route network was in 2009. The current network was designed around the old Broad River Power Company streetcar lines and the SCE&G bus routes.

What is the Transit System Redesign? 

Reimagine The COMET will include a full redesign of the public transportation system that will evaluate and recommend important policy related to transit.

Transit Network Concepts

Thank you for taking the time to help improve our bus network. The COMET may redesign its bus network as early as 2022. Every bus route could change. Our study team has developed the concepts below to help you think about what transit goals you want the city to prioritize.

First, let’s look at our bus network today, and then two Concepts for how it might change. We need to know what you think of the Concepts so we can design the best possible plan early next year. Note, these Concepts are not proposals.

Whether you ride transit or not, the transit network is part of your community, and your taxes help pay for bus service, so we want your opinion.

The COMET Bus

Existing network

  • Red lines arrive every 15 minutes or better
  • Blue lines arrive every 30 minutes
  • Light Blue lines arrive every 60 minutes
  • Tan lines arrive every 90 or 120 minutes

This is a map of the existing The COMET transit network.

The color of each line tells you the maximum wait for that bus or train, on a weekday. For example, on a blue line, a bus comes every 30 minutes. On a light blue line, a bus comes only once every 60 minutes.

People are more likely to use frequent service (red lines ) because a bus is usually coming soon. These lines typically offer better night and weekend service, which makes it easier for people to use the bus for all sorts of activities.

Most existing routes come every 30 or 60 minutes during the day on weekdays. Some routes come more frequently during rush hour. For more detail, you can download a larger map or read our Report to learn more about the existing network.

The COMET Existing Network Click Image to Enlarge

How should we design our new network?

It depends on our goal.

If our goal is to get lots of people to ride the buses (high ridership), then we would run very frequent service (every 15 minutes or so) where there are lots of people and lots of jobs close together. But where there are fewer people, jobs, and bus riders, we might not run buses at all.

If our goal is to reach as many places in the area as possible (high coverage), then we would spread out our bus service. But when we do that, very few bus routes can offer frequent service (most routes run every 30 or 60 minutes), and fewer people find the bus system useful because they can’t travel when they need to.

Coverage Concept

The COMET Coverage Network Click Image to Enlarge

When we spread out our bus service, we get:

  • Bus service in more areas, even if not many people use it
  • More bus service in low-density areas
  • Lifeline transit access that might not exist otherwise

Ridership Concept

The COMET Ridership Network Click Image to Enlarge

When lots of people ride the buses, we get:

  • Less traffic congestion
  • Less air pollution
  • Most people have access to more jobs and opportunities

The two Concepts show how we could design the new network depending on which goal is more important, using the same budget we have today. Your opinion will help us understand what to do when we design the final plan.

The Concepts are not proposals. We will design the draft plan early next year based on your input.

Your voice matters!

Learn more about these transit concepts, hear from The COMET and consultant team staff, and ask questions about the transit planning process at our virtual public meetings in December.

You can tell us what you think at any time by taking our survey now.