Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA)

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.

Have a nice day bus photo
On our way to building a world class regional transportation system…

CARTA Comprehensive Operations Analysis (2016)

CARTA, along with Tri-County Link and BCD COG are striving to move forward to create a true world class regional transportation system.

In order to do so, it is crucial that the current system be evaluated for strengths and weaknesses.  This study is crucial to the process of creating a truly efficient system and positioning the system for improved funding.  Both are key factors needed to ultimately build a world class regional transit system in the Charleston area that would truly connect our communities throughout the Tri-County area and sustain the incredible growth we are seeing; which is great for our area and the economy…but not so great for our roads and traffic conditions.

The COA (Comprehensive Operational Analysis) is an in-depth study of a transit system designed to identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop recommendations for improvement.  The COA process provides a thorough look at the CARTA system to determine which aspects are working well, which are in need of improvement and makes recommendations on how CARTA can chart a course for the future. The recommendations resulting from this analysis are intended as a beginning point for CARTA and the regions continued planning processes, which should include ample opportunity for review and comments by passengers and the public.

The COA for CARTA is a process that will have short range, mid-range, and long range phases and goals.  In the upcoming weeks there will be several public meetings to discuss the initial recommendations for the short range phase.  A version of the short range recommendations for service which will include changes to several routes is slated to go into effect in 2016.

Short and mid range phases focused on:

  • Need for innovation/investment

CARTA management and operations must develop strategies to serve the market and make the services attractive to existing and potential customers.  One of the main obstacles facing transit service is making the service competitive with driving.  Investing in technology, and passenger amenities are strategies that will help the service to attract new customers and improve existing passengers experience.  Identifying savings and potential reallocation (changing where some funds are utilized) or new areas of investment are key parts of the recommendations. 

  • Limited Funding Resources

It is important to prioritize services with the available funding to ensure that the customers are being served in the most efficient and effective ways possible.  The study looked at headway adjustments (the length of time it takes a route takes from beginning point to end point), service productivity analysis, route combinations, splitting routes and changes in the interlining of routes.

Please check shortly to view the short range recommendations.


CARTA is committed to delivering quality transit services that link people, jobs and communities.


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