CARTA is funded through a combination of local, state and federal sources, in addition to fare and advertising revenue. As a BCDCOG program, we have created a strategic plan to make public transit a success in the Lowcountry. We are working to improve our system, including rider services and amenities. Below are the purchases for CARTA projects and improvements made in 2018.
Accurate bus tracking, easy trip-planning and more
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) today announced its partnership with Transit, the premier public transportation mobile app.
Riders will now be able to navigate the Charleston area with accurate real-time predictions, simple trip planning, step-by-step navigation, service disruption notifications, and departure and stop reminders – and it’s all presented in a clear, bold interface.
“This app is a key tool in the rider experience and is the first of several digital steps we’ll be taking this fall to make CARTA more appealing,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Better technology is helping us lay the foundation for long-term, successful public transportation in the Lowcountry.”
For riders without smart phones or Internet service, CARTA also introduced new SMS texting and phone service. Customers can call or text (843) 202-4410 and provide the stop number of their choice, which can be found on signs at bus stops. An automated system will then relay the next two real-time arrivals for each route servicing the selected stop.
“We’re sensitive to the fact that not everyone has a smart phone and we want to provide as many options as possible for all of our riders,” Seekings said.
In the coming weeks, CARTA will also roll out a new website and an online payment system that will be connected to on-board fare boxes. The transit system, meanwhile, continues to collect data from recently installed Automatic Passenger Counters that it plans to use in the deployment of future service. New shelters and buses are planned in the months ahead, as well.
CARTA riders can now call or text an automated number to find out when their bus will arrive.
Simply call or text (843) 202-4410 and provide the bus stop number of choice. (Each stop is assigned a number which is posted bus stop signs or can be found online here.)
Callers will be given the next two arrivals for each route servicing the stop, while texters will receive a response text with the same information.
Due to construction at the Railroad crossing at Montague and Gaynor, please take the following detour:
- On Route at Rivers and Mall Dr. Continue down Rivers Ave. past Morningside Dr. to Durant Ave. Take a left on Durant Ave.
- Continue down Durant Ave. to Holmes Ave. Take a left onto Holmes Ave.
- Take Holmes Ave. to Mixson Ave. Make a right onto Mixson Ave.
- Take Mixson Ave. to E. Montague Ave. Make a right onto E. Montague Ave. Back on Route.
- On Route at E. Montague and Mixson Ave. Continue down Mixson Ave. (Do not make a right onto Montague Ave.)
- Continue down Mixson Ave to Holmes Ave. Make a left turn onto Holmes Ave.
- Take Holmes Ave. to Durant Ave. Make a right onto Durant Ave.
- Take Durant Ave. to Rivers Ave. Make a right onto Rivers Ave. Back on Route.
Starting on April 24, 2017 several routes will be impacted by road closures near Cannon and President. Expect detours on routes 30, 31,203, 204 and 213. To view full turn by turn detour directions, please click on the appropriate route listed to the right. These detours will continue until further notice. Please call 843-724-7420 if you have any questions. View route detours below.
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:
- Belmond Charleston Place
- Feed the Need
- Hilton and Catherine Smith
- East Bay Company
- Sean Litton of Peninsula Company
- Tony McAlister of McAlister Development Company
- Croghan’s Jewel Box
- Neil Robinson
- Charlie Way
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:
- Panoramic windows with narrow posts for enhanced onboard views.
- Quieter and more fuel-efficient engines.
- Improved accessibility with two doors, low floor and easily accessible wheel chair ramps.
- New comfort features such as cushioned seats and enhanced air conditioning.
- Enhanced safety with more floor space for standing capacity, LED headlights, better maneuverability and a narrower frame, taking up less street space.
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.”
- Model: 30-foot NewFlyer MiDi
- Made in the USA (St. Cloud, Minn.)
- 250-horse power Cummins ISB engine and Allison B300R 6-speed gearbox
- Replace “trolley” vehicles, which have been in service since 1999.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- 0: Cost to ride
- 2: Doors
- 3: Great DASH routes
- 7: New NewFlyer MiDis replacing trolleys
- 8’: Vehicle width in feet (a half-foot narrower than the trolleys)
- 10’1”: Vehicle height in feet
- 30’: Vehicle length in feet
- 53: Total passenger capacity
- 18,298: Vehicle weight in pounds
- $335,000: Cost per vehicle
- $500,000: Local matching funds from the City of Charleston