COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Away go the buses of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority. And here comes The Comet.
That's the new name, logo and marketing concept you'll see traveling the streets in and around Columbia as the area's mass transit system is expanded with money from November's penny sales tax vote.
CMRTA Board member Jennifer Harding has been involved in the re branding effort.
"With 'The Comet,' we're looking at the parallels with the comet," she said. "Speed. Dependability of our service and certainly the boundless limits of what the transportation system can be."
"Comet" is not an idea that just zoomed in from outer space. It's shorthand for Central Midlands Transit.
"It really brings us into a more modern flair," said CMRTA Director Bob Schneider. "But what we also like about the design is it pulls in the fact that this is a town that is known for being famously hot. So having a logo and an identity that talks about that."
Over the next few months, The Comet will start to replace the familiar and somewhat faded green, yellow and blue CMRTA designs on everything from buses to bus stops.
Meanwhile, routes, frequency and even the buses themselves will get major upgrades.
"It's going to change the type of bus that we acquire," said Schneider. "Now there's an expectation that everything we do has a certain level of quality that comes with it, not to say that historically what we've done hasn't been quality in the past. But there has been a limit to what could be accomplished due to unstable funding. Now we are able to truly re-invest our dollars, truly invest in the community."
"We are looking at a bigger bolder transportation system," said Harding. "We're not calling it a bus system. It's a transportation system."