South Carolina's Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) launched a comprehensive campaign to inform and transport Midlands residents to major vaccination sites in Richland and Lexington Counties.
The “Don’t Miss Your Shot” campaign seeks to connect people who need and desire the COVID vaccine to a transportation service offered by The COMET that best fits the individual’s needs. Transportation is free of charge for those eligible to receive their vaccine.
The campaign was developed in partnership with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Prisma Health, Lexington Medical Center, Columbia VA Health System, Columbia Housing Authority, Senior Resources, Thomas Media Group/Black Pages/Black Expo, and local governments.
A dedicated webpage, as well as in-person and media marketing platforms will be used for messaging and detailed information on how to use The COMET’s transit services to get to vaccination locations.
The campaign is expected to run, at minimum, through the end of 2021.
“There are people in our community who are the most affected by the ravages of COVID-19 — especially older adults, the disabled, minorities, and the poor,” said John Andoh, Executive Director/CEO of The COMET. “Many of these individuals are dependent upon public transportation to help them access much needed health and wellness resources. The COMET family of services is here to help.”
In addition to its fixed-route bus services, The COMET offers three additional programs to serve those 65 years old and older and/or persons with disabilities needing transportation:
- DART services, which offers same-day transportation or up to 7 days in advance as long as the resident has a prescheduled vaccination appointment (they may need to show proof to the bus operator)
- V-TRIP, the Volunteer Transportation Program, which provides a limited mileage reimbursement to a friend or neighbor who transports someone who resides in Richland or Lexington Counties but is outside of The COMET service area.
- PUP, or the Pick-Up Program, utilizes Uber, Lyft and Taxi services to transport residents of Richland or Lexington Counties who are outside of The COMET service area. Limited reimbursement is provided, and registration is required.