The COMET awarded $2.9M grant from Federal Transit Administration

July 22, 2021

The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) has been selected to receive $2,935,190 under Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Low or No Emission Vehicle Program for Fiscal Year 2021.

The grant allows The COMET, which provides service in Richland and Lexington Counties, to purchase battery electric and fuel cell buses along with charging equipment and supportive infrastructure. The project will also allow The COMET to add more economical fueling sources in the maintenance mix, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and gain skills to expand the zero-emission fleet as the agency works toward its goal of improved air quality.

According to The COMET’s Grants and Regional Coordination Manager, Michelle Ransom, who led the application process for the agency, this has been four years in the making. “We are so excited to have this opportunity to contribute to improved air quality in our region and are grateful to the FTA for the funding to help make this happen,” said Ransom.

The COMET will begin implementing the project as soon as possible with oversight from its leadership and board of directors.

“We applaud Michelle on the work she does for the organization in pursuing available grant dollars locally and nationally,” said LeRoy DesChamps, Interim Executive Director of The COMET. “Her diligence and perseverance have paid off in accomplishing this win that is greatly beneficial to The COMET, the Central Midlands, and the environment.”

Selected projects are published on the FTA website. All recipients are required to ensure compliance with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out this project, including any environmental determination, real property acquisition, and programming in the TIP/STIP.


About The COMET

The COMET is a service of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority and provides countywide public transit services on 34 fixed routes, UofSC Transit, OnDemand/ReFlex services, vanpool service for commuters, subsidy programs with Uber and Lyft and DART for transportation to grocery stores and at night, ADA complementary paratransit service throughout Richland and eastern Lexington Counties and eight Blue Bike bikeshare stations in Downtown Columbia. The COMET transports approximately 2.8 million passenger trips a year on a fleet of more than 80 buses, vans and trolleys. Transit services are provided under contract with RATP Dev USA, Enterprise Holdings, Lyft, Uber and Bewegen. For additional The COMET information, please call (803) 255-7100, TDD/TTY: 711 through the relay service, email: [email protected] or visit