(Columbia, SC) – For the second consecutive year, Columbia Business Monthly has named John Andoh, Executive Director/CEO of Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET), one of Columbia’s 50 Most Influential. The virtual awards ceremony took place on Friday, March 12. The magazine makes its selection based on staff research and community nominations.
Andoh has led the team at The COMET with an array of successes over the past year. Notably, The COMET received two awards for fiscal excellence reflecting the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting, which included the handling of the Richland Penny and other funding the organization receives.
Additional accomplishments include:
•Negotiated a new UofSC Agreement for The COMET to operate their transit services, leveraging resources for the good of the taxpayers. By joining together, both entities now have opportunities for increases in capital which will be poured right back into the community and continue to allow transportation in Columbia to grow.
•Implemented a mobility program which partners with taxis, Uber and Lyft for individuals 65+ and/or with disabilities for areas within Richland and Lexington Counties not currently served by The COMET.
•Launched a creative, award-winning implementation of food delivery services for seniors during the height of the pandemic and expanded grocery store transportation for those who reside in food deserts.
“I am grateful to be recognized in the company of so many of Columbia’s outstanding leaders,” said Andoh. “Leading The COMET and providing progressive mobility services for the people of the Midlands is indeed a gift of which I’m thankful. “
Andoh has a strong passion for public transportation and has been working in the public transit industry since age 13, working as an intern at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, CA. He first became a transit manager at the Riverbank-Oakdale Transit Authority working for a Board of Directors and implementing an intercity transit service and has run many systems since. He began leading The COMET in April of 2018. Since that time, the organization has seen remarkable progress.
Throughout his career, Andoh has overseen the preparation of short- and long-range transit plans and strategic plans for the transit systems he has managed. He has a robust understanding of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants, funding programs, and compliance including obtaining direct recipient status from the FTA and preparation of compliance documents. He has a track record of starting many small urban and rural transit systems, as well as implementing transformational processes to make them efficient and progressive.