Over the past few decades, Richland and Lexington Counties have changed a lot. While specific bus routes have been adjusted occasionally, the design of the entire network has not been updated in 128 years.
Although there are potentially many new network designs to consider we believe the one we ultimately choose should reflect the values of the community. Over the years, occasional adjustments to our system have addressed immediate needs, but after decades the overall system no longer serves the community as well as it could. To make the system less less intimidating and easier to use, The COMET is reimagining our network, so we can move it out of the past and serve the needs of today’s riders.
The network redesign we’ve begun will take a fresh look at the entire bus system and develop alternatives for a new network and 10-year plan for growth and expansion.
Reimagining a bus network involves making tradeoffs. To ensure we’re making choices that reflect the values of our residents, the community will play an essential role in our decision-making.
Transit can give businesses access to more workers, workers access to more jobs, and students access to more education and training. Transit can also allow for continued economic growth beyond what congestion might prevent. By providing people the ability to reach more places, a transit system can be a tool for personal liberty, empowering people to make new choices and fulfill their individual goals.
Transit can help meet the needs of people who are in situations of disadvantage, providing lifeline access to services and jobs. A bus route through a neighborhood provides residents insurance against isolation, even if the route is infrequent and few people ride it.
Transit routes can also fulfill political or social obligations; for example by getting service close to every taxpayer or into every municipality.
Increased transit use can reduce congestion, and thus air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Useful transit can also reduce the need to own or use a vehicle, which improves the quality of life for residents young and old.
Transit can also enable more compact development, help conserve land, and promote more walkable neighborhoods