Feed the Need, Belmond Charleston Place, East Bay Company, Blackbaud and more involved in effort keep residents connected to groceries via CARTA
Mickey Bakst and Paul Stracey of Belmond Charleston Place have officially presented a $46,000 check to the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority that will fund an additional six months of free service on King Street Route 20.
The contribution is part of an effort to assist residents in a part of the city heavily affected by the closure of Bi-Lo last fall. CARTA has provided free service on the route since October and has seen a 50% increase in ridership through January 2017.
Donors to date include:
However, Bakst and Co. don’t want to stop at the six months they’ll be providing. They’re also challenging others in the Charleston business community to get involved and fund an entire year of service on Route 20.
For others looking to get involved, checks should be made to Meet the Needs Charleston – a 501 (c)(3) that will transfer the funds to CARTA. The address is 275 Beech Hill Lane, Mount Pleasant 29464.
Feed the Need, Belmond Charleston Place, East Bay Company, Blackbaud and more involved in effort keep residents connected to groceries via CARTA …
Mickey Bakst of Feed the Need and Belmond Charleston Place, Hilton and Catherine Smith, East Bay Company, Neil Robinson, Sean Litton of Peninsula Company, Tony McAlister of McAlister Development Company, Blackbaud and others donating a combined $$46,000-plus to extend free service on Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority’s King Street Route 20.
The contribution will mean six additional months free service in an area of the city heavily affected by the closure of Bi-Lo in the fall. CARTA has provided free service on the route since October – and seen a 50 percent increase in ridership during that time – and will continue to do so through January 2017.
However, Bakst and Co. don’t want to stop at the three months they’ll be providing. They’re also challenging others in the Charleston business community to get involved and fund an entire year of service on Route 20.
“When you look at how Charleston is changing, how its long-time residents are being impacted, I think it is incumbent upon leaders in the business community to step in and help,” said Bakst. “Food is important to our city’s identity and it’s a core essential for everyone. We have to make sure that all residents have access to groceries. It’s the right thing to do.”
For those looking to get involved, checks should be made to Meet the Needs Charleston – a 501 (c)(3) that will transfer the funds to CARTA. The address is 275 Beech Hill Lane, Mount Pleasant 29464.
“In the past weeks we’ve seen residents of Charleston County pass a half-cent transportation sales tax and $500,000 in state funds has come in for shelters and buses,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Now the private sector is stepping up in an incredible way. Combined, this is unprecedented support for public transit in Charleston and we sincerely thank Mickey, Feed the Need, Belmond Charleston Place, Hilton, Catherine and the East Bay Company and Blackbaud for leading this effort.”
Route 20 runs along King Street and Meeting Street between Heriot Street and Broad Street. It serviced the former Bi-Lo and includes a stop in front of the Food Lion on King Street. Food Lion is providing passengers with $2 coupons – the price of standard CARTA fare – through the end of the year.
Many public transit trips begin with a bike ride or lengthy walk and this holiday season the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) wants to help riders overcome what’s been dubbed the first-mile/last-mile problem – and also spread some Christmas cheer.
CARTA has partnered with Affordabike to refurbish 16 lost-and-found bicycles that will be given away to riders over the next couple of weeks in order to help them navigate walks of more than a quarter mile to their stop or final destination. A quarter-mile is roughly the maximum distance that most people find “comfortable” to walk to a stop.
Riders who could use two new wheels – or individuals who know someone who fits the bill – can submit requests/nominations through Dec. 20 by:
All CARTA buses, except free DASH shuttles, are equipped with bike racks as part of the system’s no-cost and easy-to-use Rack and Ride program.
Recipients will be selected by CARTA staff. One of the bikes will be given away through a drawing at the BCDCOG’s Walk + Bike BCD meeting Dec.13 at the former Navy Hospital. That drop-in event is scheduled from 3 – 8 p.m.
A better way to “DASH” around the peninsula for visitors, workers and residents …
CARTA is pleased to announce the arrival of seven new Downtown Shuttle (DASH) vehicles that will enhance the transit experience for a growing ridership on the peninsula.
Hitting the road just in time for the holiday shopping season, the recently arrived NewFlyerMiDi buses will replace the existing 17-year-old trolleys and feature noticeable improvements in comfort, safety and efficiency.
“We’re delighted with the purchase of these new vehicles and understand how important this improved experience will be for local workers, residents, students and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “With a fresh look featuring Charleston’s iconic pineapple for hospitality, we look forward to making downtown more accessible and navigable.”
The seven new vehicles are 30 feet in length, eight feet wide and have capacity for 50 passengers. Made in the U.S., each vehicle cost approximately $335,000. The purchases were made possible via a $500,000 expenditure from the City of Charleston that CARTA staff matched with significant Federal funds.
“CARTA and public transit are playing an increasingly important role in Charleston,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “Because of that, the City saw the necessity of assisting in upgrading the DASH fleet and we look forward to further regional collaboration in the future.”
Highlights of the new DASH vehicles include:
Three DASH routes allow riders to explore the peninsula, from the Aquarium to the Citadel to Broad Street and Waterfront Park. There is no cost to ride.
“The DASH service is a convenient and cost-effective way for residents and visitors alike to move around the peninsula,” shares Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “At the same time, traffic congestion is reduced because there are fewer cars on city streets.”
BY THE NUMBERS:
The CARTA Board of Directors today extended the system’s free service on Route 20 until at least its next board meeting on Jan. 18, 2017.
Also beginning Monday, Nov. 21, Food Lion will supply a $2 coupon for CARTA riders on Route 20. The coupon is good toward purchases of $20 or more and must be used in conjunction with a Food Lion MVP card.
“We’ve chosen to extend this service through the holidays as a benefit to the community and we’ll revisit the issue in the new year,” said CARTA board chairman Mike Seekings. “We would also like to thank Food Lion for their participation and commitment to the residents of Charleston.”
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