The COMET launches website to show rebranding of CMRTA

ccope@thestate.comJuly 31, 2013 

The COMET website launches today and will be available on desktop and mobile platforms.

COURTESY OF THE COMET

  • ONLINE

    The new website is www.catchTheCOMET.org.

    The site addresses bus riders’ questions, such as where to buy passes, how to ride the bus and route schedules.

— The COMET, Columbia’s transit system, launches its website Thursday in the first visible step in the rebranding of what used to be known as Central Midlands Regional Transit.

The new website is www.catchTheCOMET.org. The COMET is the new Central Midlands Transit acronym (CMT) with vowels added, so as not to be confused with Country Music Television, for example, said Bob Schneider, the new executive director of The COMET.

The website, which also can be used on a mobile or tablet device, has a bright, color-splashed homepage with little dust-speck comets that follow the user’s cursor. It is designed simply to address bus riders’ questions, such as where to buy passes, how to ride the bus and route schedules.

“This really does strip away all that extra stuff,” Schneider said. The transit board approved hiring Schneider to work solely as the executive director last week. He previously served as both the executive director and general manager for Veolia Transportation, the company contracted to run the bus system.

The website also has a section labeled “Your Penny,” which will track how the bus system’s portion of Richland County’s new penny sales tax is being spent when the information becomes available.

The website is designed to attract new riders and also be adaptable, Schneider said.

He hopes to one day have a way for riders to buy passes on their smartphone and then use their phone as the pass. The website is the first step, he said.

“It’s that first platform that lets us build and stack on top of it,” Schneider said.

Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657

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