We’re proud to launch a historic partnership with the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority, also known as The COMET to provide two innovative transportation programs. These new transit programs are aimed at increasing mobility for The COMET riders by expanding late-night jobs access services and improving access to fresh foods for Columbia residents that live in food deserts.
The new programs will provide a convenient and efficient on-demand transit option in areas where traditional bus service has been a challenge for The Comet to provide. We are proud to have had the opportunity to partner with The COMET on service design and delivery of this innovative and first-of-its-kind, on-demand transit program aimed at overcoming barriers to fresh food access in the United States.
Under the new The COMET On The Go! Programs with Lyft, The COMET will pay up to $5.00 of a passenger's Lyft fare for travel within The COMET fixed route service area shown on the map below. Within The COMET On The Go!, there are COMET @ Night and COMET To The Market programs.
COMET @ Night is available seven days a week between 9 PM and 3 AM. COMET passengers can obtain the code on board any of the regional buses. COMET @ Night will provide mobility for The COMET passengers who need night time transportation after The COMET service has ended for the day.
COMET To The Market is available seven days a week between 6 AM and 10 PM to passengers traveling to grocery stores. To participate, passengers must enter the promo code COMETMARKET18 into the ‘Promos’ tab in the Lyft app.
The COMET To The Market program can be used ten times a month per passenger for rides that originate or end at the following fresh food markets: Walmart & Walmart Neighborhood Market, BiLo, Kroger, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Aldi, Blossom Shop, Food Lion, Gourmet Shoppe, La Estrella Supermarket, Lowe’s Fresh Food, Ole Timey Meat Market, Piggly Wiggly, Publix, Rosewood Market & Deli, Sam’s Club, Costco, Save-A-Lot, State Farmer’s Market, Target, Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare, Supermercado El Mariachi, and Soda City Market. For both programs, anything over $5.00 is the responsibility of the passenger. The code must be entered in the Promos tab to receive the discount.
The COMET has experienced difficulty providing cost-effective and convenient service in lower-density areas of the Columbia Metropolitan Area. Through this new partnership with Lyft,The COMET aims to reduce single-occupancy trips, improve access to the community for all residents, and encourage public transit commuting for those that need easier access to food, or late night employment opportunities.
"Lyft is proud to partner with The COMET to offer Columbia residents reliable access to fresh groceries in their community. As partners, we aim to reduce the time, cost, and transportation access barriers to fresh food that impacts too many Columbia families." said Bakari Brock, Senior Director of City Partnerships for Lyft.
The COMET On The Go! Programs will continue through June 30, 2019 or until all funds are exhausted.