Richland to bring bus service to Blythewood

BLYTHEWOOD- Richland County officials have offered a limited bus service to the Town of Blythewood on a trial basis.

“Out of the blue, the Interim Executive Director of the Comet Board, Ann August, called Town Hall to say Richland County wants to establish a park and ride service between Blythewood and Columbia,” Town Councilman Malcolm Gordge told The Voice.

The proposed service would operate out of Doko Meadows (the town park) where it would pick up passengers at a scheduled place and time and drop them of at various points in downtown Columbia. It would bring them back to the park at the end of the business day.

In May, Samuel Scheib, Director of Richland County Planning and Development, forwarded to Town Hall an email he received from August concerning the proposal.

“Due to the ideal location of the Town of Blythewood and recognizing the town’s participation in regional transportation planning efforts, staff proposes to operate the agency’s first express route piolot to Blythewood,” August wrote.

The Blythewood pilot route is expected to begin in September.

“Both Ms. August and Mr. Sheib have come and and met with the Mayor and myself, and we showed them the park,” Gordge said. “Now what the Town Hall is looking for is a response from the community. Do they want it? Will they use it?”

The first week of rides on the 18-seat mini Comet will be free of charge. After that, riders will pay the standard city bus fees, Gordge said.

Gordge said the Town will have no financial responsibility for the project except to post signs directing riders to the pick-up and drop-off points.

“If shelters are needed, then Comet will be responsible for that,” Gordge said.

“I plan to try it out,” he said. “I’ll be on the first bus to Columbia.”