The Chairman of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) Board of Directors was determined not to miss his shot.
Derrick Huggins was anxiously awaiting his turn to receive his COVID-19 vaccination. April 23 Huggins rode one of The COMET’s fixed route buses from COMET Central to the Prisma Health location at Gamecock Park. As Board Chairman, he emphasized the importance of leading by example.
“I wanted to have the same experience as our riders who are traveling to get their vaccine. Not having a car should never exclude people from receiving essential services,” said Huggins. “Prisma Health has been an excellent partner in accommodating bus riders with walk-up access at this location.”
Back in January, Huggins advocated for The COMET being one of the first transit agencies to provide free transportation for those needing to get their shot. By the first week of February, the campaign was rolled out to the public and The COMET engaged community partners, such as Prisma Health, Lexington Medical Center, Columbia VA Health System, Columbia Housing Authority, DHEC, Senior Resources, Thomas Media Group and others.
In addition to presiding over The COMET’s Board of Directors, Huggins also oversees the organization’s COVID-19 Ad-Hoc Subcommittee, which includes Lill Mood, a former public health nurse, and John Furgess, a community advocate. The Subcommittee works on issues raised by the pandemic that impact the transit agency and explores solutions for the betterment of the organization and the Midlands community. An earlier partnership with DHEC resulted in a testing kiosk at the COMET Central hub on the corner of Laurel and Sumter Streets. The vaccine transportation initiative was a natural progression.
“It just made sense for The COMET to be a part of the solution in helping people get vaccinated,” Huggins added.
The COMET offers free transportation to vaccines through several programs. Visit www.COMETCovidHelp.org for more information.