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COMET bus system temporarily suspending Soda Cap, taking further measures amid COVID-19

Soda Cap connector sign Dec. 2018

The COMET bus system is taking further steps to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including suspending the free circulator buses and trolleys known as the Soda Cap Connector.

A Monday afternoon release from The COMET — which services Richland County and parts of Lexington and Newberry — outlined several measures the transit provider is taking to help slow down the dangerous strain of coronavirus.

The bus system says it is now doing "bio-clean disinfection" of its fleet nightly, and is cleaning its central transit center on Sumter Street every 30 minutes.

It is also suspending the Soda Cap, the free bus that runs through parts of downtown and over to West Columbia. The shuttering of the Soda Cap will be in effect until further notice.

The organization's DART buses, for disabled patrons, are still available to give rides, but the bus system is asking riders to limit appointments to essential travel, such as work, medical visits or grocery runs. COMET is also urging riders on its regular fixed route buses to stick to essential travel.

“Consideration for the health and safety of our passengers, operators and the general public will drive our decision making during this crisis. We also recognize that we are the lifeline transportation source for many people in the Midlands,” COMET Director of Operations LeRoy DesChamps said in the release. “For those who must travel, we are doing all we can to make their trips as safe as possible by following directives from the Centers for Disease Control."

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