FAQ

Welcome to
CARTA Transit System

CARTA stands for: Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority. CARTA offers Fixed-route, Flex Service, Express commute service, and Paratransit service throughout the Charleston Metropolitan area, including The Trolley (DASH) service in the Historic Peninsula area of the Charleston.

This site provides information about how the system can take you almost anywhere your life takes you in the Charleston Metro area including work, shopping, hospitals, schools, and much more.

Side-view-bus-stop-and-shelter

CARTA Buses

Q: Where can I find the nearest bus stop?

You can use the trip planner located on the front page of the site.  Simply input where you are and where you want to go and the planner will give you the closest bus stop to your location.

Q: Do CARTA buses have bicycle racks?

Yes! Now you can get everywhere you want to go around the Charleston area, AND take your bike with you! Just pedal to the bus stop nearest you and CARTA will be there to pick you up with your bike. Rack and ride facts: * Available on all CARTA buses except CARTA Trolleys and Tel-A-Ride buses * Each rack holds 2 bikes at a time * Easy to use: 10 seconds to load * Accommodates most single-rider bicycles, including children’s and all-terrain bikes * No charge * CARTA is not responsible for damages to or caused by bikes on CARTA properly or vehicles To learn more about Rack & Ride, please click on the “Rack & Ride” link under “Services.”

Q: How much does it cost to ride?

The Regular Fare is $2.00 for the Metro Buses. The Trolley’s also known as DASH (Downtown Area Shuttles) are free. Low Income Discount Fares of $1.25 are also available for those who qualify. The Low Income Fare determination is located at the SC Works (Formally known as Trident One Stop Career Center) located at 1930 Hanahan Road, North Charleston, SC 29406. The phone number is 843-574-1810. Low Income Discount Fare ID Cards are issues between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Children aged six (6) and under ride free when a paying passenger accompanies them. School groups should call ahead for fare information at 843-724-7420. Seniors 55+ only pay $1.00 for Metro Bus Service Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and after 6:00 p.m., all day Saturday and Sunday, and Holidays. Drivers may request proof of age. Medicare cards or an I.D. card with date of birth will serve as identification for the fare. Disabled patrons ride for $0.75 all day, every day. Patrons with a valid Tel-A-Ride I.D. card can ride for $0.75. The following passes are available: $16.00 for 10 trips $56.00 for 40 trips $80.00 for students per semester $7.00 for all day (available onboard all CARTA vehicles) $14.00 for three days $57.00 for 31 days $99.00 for 31 days Express pass. All passes are valid for both Metro Service and Premium services including Express routes (Express routes will require an additional $1.00 along with the pass each time you board the bus).

Q: Where can I purchase a pass?

Bus Passes Bus passes can be purchased at:

  • Online- Pass purchases can be made on this website under Fares & Passes tab, the page titled “Purchase passes on line” or click “Buy Online Pass Now”  to go to page to purchase a pass now
  • Piggly Wiggly Stores within CARTA’s service area (Ortranto Road & Price Wise at Yeamen Hall)
  • The Visitor Reception and Transportation Center (375 Meeting Street)
  • SC Works (Formally known as Trident One Stop) located 1930 Hanahan Rd
  • CARTA Operations Offices located at 3664 Leeds Ave. North Charleston, SC

 

Q: How often do buses come by my stop?

With more routes and more buses than ever, we’re able to offer shorter wait times between bus visits. For a listing of stop times, please visit our Route Index and click on the route you’re interested in learning about.  Real-time arrival info can now be viewed by clicking on the bus tracker icon and choosing the route and bus stop your looking for.

The Shuttle (Also known as DASH)

Q: What is DASH?

DASH stands for Downtown Area Shuttle. DASH Shuttles can connect you with all of Charleston’s attractions. Restaurants, area beaches, shopping & entertainment venues, hotels and historic sites are all found on our routes. No need to hunt for parking when you can simply climb aboard at one of our many conveniently placed bus stops throughout Downtown Charleston and enjoy the ride!

Q: How much does it cost to ride?

The Shuttles (DASH) are free to all residents and visitors.

Tel-A-Ride

Q: What is Tel-A-Ride?

Tel-A-Ride is a specialized curb-to-curb transportation service that is available to persons with disabilities who are unable to use the local public bus service. Tel-A-Ride is a shared-ride service, which means that passengers share the vehicle with others traveling in the same direction at the same time. All Tel-A-Ride vehicles are wheelchair lift-equipped.

Q: Who is eligible for Tel-A-Ride?

In order to be eligible for Tel-A-Ride, you must have a specific impairment which restricts your mobility. Persons who cannot use public transit vehicles, person who cannot travel without assistance, and persons with mobility impairments that prevent them from traveling to or from a bus stop are all examples of eligible applicants. Persons interested in applying for Tel-A-Ride may call 843.724.7420, extension 3, to request an application.

Q: What is origin-to-destination/curb-to-curb service?

Origin-to-Destination, Curb-to-curb service means that a transportation trip will be provided from the street curb of your origin to the street curb of your destination.  An advanced reservation to schedule a trip and a prior eligibility determination will be required to travel on Tel-A-Ride.  As a safety precaution, drivers are required to stay with their vehicles and passengers, and are not permitted to lose sight of their vehicle.  Assistance to the door of the vehicle will be provided as the situation necessitates, but in no way will drivers be allowed to lift, push, carry or assist under unsafe conditions.  Any ramps or building access must be in compliance  with South Carolina building code and/or accessibility laws for driver assistance.  Tel-A-Ride drivers will assist you in and out of the vehicle.  Under no circumstances are drivers permitted to enter a passengers’s residence or destination building.

Q: Who decides if I’m eligible for Tel-A-Ride?

All Tel-A-Ride applications are reviewed by the Intelitran Manager. The ADA Specialist will determine whether an applicant is eligible for the service, based on guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act, within 21 days of application. For more information, please call 843.724.7420, extension 3.

Q: If an applicant is determined to be ineligible, can he or she appeal the decision?

Any individual who is determined to be ineligible for Tel-A-Ride may file an appeal with CARTA within 60 days of notice of ineligibility. Appeals will be heard by at least three members of CARTA’s ADA Advisory Committee. Please forward all appeals to: CARTA Attn: ADA Advisory Committee 36 John Street Charleston, SC 29403

Q: How do I schedule a ride once I’m determined eligible?

If you are eligible for Tel-A-Ride, you will receive a letter notifying you that your application has been approved. You will also receive a Tel-A-Ride Identification Card. Once you have received your card, you may begin to use the service.* To schedule a ride, you must call the Tel-A-Ride office at 843-747-0007 and make a reservation. With the exception of medical appointments, return trips must be scheduled when you make your initial reservation. * The Tel-A-Ride ID card must be shown each and every time the service is used.

Q: What if I don’t know what time I will need to return?

If you are traveling to a medical appointment, you may call Tel-A-Ride when you are ready to return home. If you choose to call for a return, please remember that you could wait as long as two or more hours to be picked up if the van is not in the area. With the exception of medical appointments, you must schedule a return time when you make your initial reservation.

Q: Am I guaranteed a trip when I request it?

If seating is available, Tel-A-Ride will make every possible effort to schedule your trip when you request it. In the event there is no opening at the requested time, a pickup within one hour of your requested time will be provided on a space-available basis.

Q: How soon before I would like to ride should I make a reservation?

Tel-A-Ride accepts reservations up to 14 days in advance of a scheduled trip. At a minimum, passengers must make their reservations no later than the day before the desired day of travel. Due to limited space, it is suggested that reservations be made as soon as possible.

Q: When can I make reservations?

Reservations can be made by calling the Tel-A-Ride office at 843-747-0007, extension 3. Reservation hours are from 8AM to 5PM Monday – Sunday. A Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) is available and can also be accessed by dialing 843-744-4555.

Q: Can I only use Tel-A-Ride to go to medical appointments?

There are no restrictions on trip purposes. You may use Tel-A-Ride to travel anywhere in the service area. Many of our riders use the service to go to the mall, the hairdresser, to visit friends, and much, much more!

Q: What is the Tel-A-Ride service area?

The Tel-A-Ride service area has been set up to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandated levels, which is a ¾ mile corridor on either side of current fixed-route bus lines. Tel-A-Ride services all of Peninsula Charleston, and portions of James Island, West Ashley, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island*, Isle of Palms*, and North Charleston. For more information, please call 843-747-0007.

Q: What is the fare for Tel-A-Ride?

The fare for Tel-A-Ride is $4.00 for each “Zone” one-way trip and $5.00  for each “Out of Zone” trip and  must be paid when you board the vehicle. Only exact fare will be accepted. Trip tickets are available by mail or can be purchased in person at the Tel-A-Ride office. If you wish to receive your tickets by mail, you will need to send a check or money order plus shipping and handling costs. All tickets will be sent by registered mail requiring a signature. Please call 843-747-0007, extension 3, for more information.

Q: What kind of training have the Tel-A-Ride drivers had?

All Tel-A-Ride drivers have been carefully selected and have undergone extensive training in both vehicle operation and passenger assistance. Please note that while all Tel-A-Ride drivers have been trained in first-aid, they are not emergency medical technicians.

Q: When does Tel-A-Ride operate?

Tel-A-Ride service is available during the same hours and within a ¾ mile corridor of regular fixed-route service. For more specific information regarding service availability, please call 843.747.0007, extension 3.

Q: What if I need a personal care attendant to ride with me?

If you require the assistance of another person to complete your trip, a personal care attendant may accompany you on Tel-A-Ride at no charge. You must indicate the need for a personal care attendant when you apply for Tel-A-Ride. For scheduling purposes, you must also indicate that an attendant will be traveling with you when you make a reservation. Attendants may not travel alone or be picked up or dropped off at any other location than that of the eligible client.

Q: Can someone other than a personal care attendant ride with me?

Yes.  If you are being accompanied by someone whose presence is not required to complete your trip, that person is considered a companion and must pay the $4.00 or $5.00 fare. One companion may travel with you in addition to a PCA.  Additional companions may ride on a space-available basis. You must indicate that a companion will be traveling with you when you call for a reservation. Companions may not travel alone or be picked up or dropped off at any other location than that of the eligible client.

Q: How early should I be ready on the day I have a trip scheduled?

You are responsible for being ready and at the curb 15 minutes before your scheduled pickup time. Tel-A-Ride vans are considered on time if they arrive 15 minutes prior to or 15 minutes after the scheduled pickup time. The Tel-A-Ride van will wait only five minutes after arriving at your pickup location.

Q: What happens if I miss a scheduled trip?

If you miss a scheduled trip, it will be recorded that you missed your scheduled trip or if you do not cancel a trip, you are considered a “No-Show.” If you cancel your trip on the day you are scheduled to travel, less than 2 hours in advance, you are considered a “Late Cancellation.” A pattern or practice of late cancellations may result in a suspension of service.

Cancelling a trip when the vehicle is at your door is considered a No-Show. No-Shows and Late Cancellations are a disservice to other Tel-A-Ride patrons and should be avoided. Continued failure to cancel unwanted scheduled trips may result in suspension of service.

Tel-A-Ride may suspend service to an individual who establishes a pattern or practice of No-Shows in accordance with CARTA’s Service Suspension Policy. Please refer to the Tel-A-Ride Cancellation Policy.

Q: What if I change my mind about where I want to go when I board the vehicle?

You must notify Tel-A-Ride of any change in destination at least one hour before your pickup time, not when you board the vehicle. Unless properly notified, Tel-A-Ride will not transport you to a destination other than the destination that you originally requested. If at all possible, Tel-A-Ride will accommodate the change.

Q: What if I will be using Tel-A-Ride to go to work or school or for some other routine travel?

Individuals who have routine travel requirements such as school, work, regular medical appointments, etc., may apply for subscription service. With subscription service, you are not required to call each time to schedule these regular trips unless your travel arrangements change. A limited number of subscription applications will be accepted on a first-come-first served basis.

Q: Can I bring bags or packages on the vehicle with me?

Due to space limitations, Tel-A-Ride passengers are permitted to carry only two bags or packages on Tel-A-Ride vehicles.

Q: Are children allowed to ride on the vehicles?

A dependent child may travel with a certified Tel-A-Ride patron as a companion (in addition to the PCA).  Additional children may ride with patron as well on a space-available basis.  Children six or under will be permitted to travel with a a paying passenger, free of charge. Children over the age of six will be required to pay the $3.50 fare. Passengers are responsible for providing child restraint seats for children aged three and under. Any child not riding in a car seat must sit on the seat of the vehicle and use a seat belt. Children may not be held on an adult’s lap. (Note: While children may be certified to use Tel-A-Ride, children under ten will not be permitted to travel unaccompanied by an adult.)

Q: Are animals allowed on the Tel-A-Ride vehicles?

Only service animals are permitted to travel with Tel-A-Ride passengers.

Q: Do I have to wear a seat belt?

For your safety, passengers are required to use seat belts and wheelchair-restraining devices at all times. The driver will assist passengers with seat belts and will secure wheelchairs using a four-point tie down. The driver will not operate the vehicle unless all passengers are properly secured.

Q: What if I have a complaint or compliment about Tel-A-Ride?

Please forward all complaints and compliments to: CARTA 36 John Street Charleston, SC 29403 Phone: 843-724-7420, extension 4 / TDD 843-724-7190 Fax: 843-720-1985 Please include your name, address, phone number, the date of your trip, and a description of the incident (where applicable).

Q: Can a person who is visiting Charleston use Tel-A-Ride if he or she has a mobility impairment?

A visitor to the Charleston area may use Tel-A-Ride if he or she is certified by another transit system or is found to be eligible for the service in Charleston. Likewise, a Tel-A-Ride patron may be eligible for similar service in other cities. Your Tel-A-Ride identification card will certify your eligibility for paratransit service in Charleston.

Q: Can I smoke on the vehicles?

Smoking, eating, and drinking are not permitted on Tel-A-Ride vehicles.

Q: Can my Tel-A-Ride eligibility be suspended?

Service may be denied to any rider who violates the rights of other passengers using the service. This includes violent, illegal, or disruptive behavior that may threaten the safety of Tel-A-Ride personnel or other passengers. Service may also suspended if a rider demonstrates a pattern of being a “no-show.” Riders will not be penalized for events or circumstances out of their control.

Q: If I am denied service, can I appeal it?

Appeals may be filed with CARTA within 60 days of notification of service denial. You will then have the opportunity to appear before the Tel-A-Ride Appeals Committee. Please forward all appeals to: CARTA Attn: Tel-A-Ride Appeals 1362 McMillan Ave. Suite 100 Charleston, SC 29405