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CARTA Board Approves Electric Bus Master Plan & Road Map

As part of its ongoing commitment to providing efficient, cost-effective service, while supporting regional sustainability goals, the CARTA Board of Directors recently voted to approve a Battery Electric Bus Master Plan & Roadmap that will guide the Authority’s efforts to gradually transition to a 100 percent battery-electric bus fleet for its fixed-route service.

Long having served residents and visitors of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, and with a service population of more than 548,000, CARTA and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments leaders have worked diligently to modernize and replace the system’s nearly 100-vehicle fleet.

To date, that includes replacement of the entire DASH, Express, and Paratransit fleets – and a commitment to be fully electric by 2040.
Early in the process, it became clear that, in order to best ensure reliable service and system longevity, the existing diesel and gasoline-fuel buses needed to be replaced with an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative.

CARTA received its first battery-electric bus in 2019 and currently operates six in revenue service, with 27 more on the way this year. The Master Plan, being executed in partnership with Dominion Energy, lays out a comprehensive approach to determining technology, power, and energy needs, as well as an overarching charging strategy and fleet management plan that will facilitate the transition to a fully battery-powered fleet.

CARTA Executive Director Ron Mitchum said, “It’s an honor to serve as public transportation leaders in the ever-growing zero-emission space, and we’re committed to seeing this effort through, not just for the benefit of our current and future riders, but for all those who live, work and play in the tri-county region. Put simply, the future of transportation is electric – and now our region has a plan to get there.”

Read the Battery Electric Bus Master Plan & Roadmap in full here, and keep an eye out as these new buses hit the road.

CARTA, BCDCOG to Receive More Than $1.2 Million in Grant Funding Via American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

NORTH CHARLESTON (June 3, 2022) — Today, Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) Executive Director Ron Mitchum released the following statement regarding the FTA’s announcement that both agencies will receive more than $1.2 in cumulative grant funding via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

CARTA will receive $563,000 in grant funding to develop a downtown restoration plan to improve post-pandemic ridership and service quality, while BCDCOG will receive $650,000 to study fixed route and bus rapid transit (BRT) alternatives for the US 52 Corridor, which connects the Goose Creek and Moncks Corner communities in Berkeley County. 

The BRT study will identify alignments, station locations and guideway features based on criteria related to increased ridership, equitable access, cost-effectiveness, engineering and safety features, environmental impacts, and more.

“This recent announcement from the Federal Transit Administration is great news for residents throughout the tri-county area. With communities across the country still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding will go a long way toward improving our local transportation infrastructure and maintaining the kind of high quality of service our riders deserve. I’d like to thank our partners at the Federal Transit Administration for including CARTA and BCDCOG in this grant distribution and look forward to getting started.”

The funding is part of a $25 million grant distribution that will help 50 public transportation agencies across the country restore service that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABOUT CARTA

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston, S.C., community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit, and express commuter service. For the latest on CARTA, visit ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook, or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app

ABOUT BCDCOG:
The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit www.bcdcog.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BDCCoG.

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CARTA Announces Return of Seasonal Shuttle to Isle of Palms

NORTH CHARLESTON (May 17, 2022) – The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) today announced that the Beach Reach Shuttle, a free seasonal park-and-ride shuttle providing a connection between Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms, will return to service on Saturday, May 28, 2022.

How to ride: Beach Reach riders can board the shuttle at stop No. 715, located behind the Belk Mens store in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, and disembark at 14th Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, adjacent to the Isle of Palms beach access. 

Parking will be available along Market Center Boulevard in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. Connections to Route 40 Mount Pleasant and Route 42 Wando Circulator will also be available.

Full route details and bus tracking can be found in the Transit App, which is available for download in the Apple and Google Play stores. Riders can also view traffic conditions and municipal information for all area beaches via the Beach Reach app, which is also available for Apple and Google smartphones.

When to ride: Beach Reach will operate on Saturdays and Sundays from May 28 through Sept. 5, 2022, as well as on Memorial, Independence and Labor Days. 

Each Saturday, the shuttle will run every hour from 9:15 a.m. (first departure from Towne Centre) to 5:30 p.m. (final departure from Isle of Palms). On Sundays, in order to improve efficiency and ease necessary transfers, the shuttle will run every hour from 9:40 a.m. to 5:55 p.m.

Riders should plan to arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Word on the beach is … 

“We work hard at CARTA to make sure we’re providing a cost-effective and efficient way of getting people where they need to go – and, in the summer months, that includes the beach,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Thanks to our Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant and Towne Centre partners, we’re able to once again make that happen, and we look forward to re-introducing our riders to the Beach Reach Shuttle.” 

“Now in its second year, we’re proud to announce the highly anticipated return of the Beach Reach Shuttle,” said City of Isle of Palms Mayor Philip Pounds. “This has been a team effort in the truest sense of the term, and we’re glad to be working alongside our remarkable partners to increase beach access and share the beauty of the Isle of Palms shoreline this summer.”

“The Town of Mount Pleasant is proud to stand alongside CARTA, Isle of Palms and our very own Towne Centre to bring the Beach Reach Shuttle back into service,” said Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie. “I hope folks throughout our community and beyond will join us in taking advantage of this exciting opportunity to make the most of this summer.”

“On behalf of everyone at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, we’re happy to be back on board as Beach Reach partners this summer,” said Mount Pleasant Towne Centre Marketing Director Kathleen Herrmann. “We look forward to not only providing convenient and affordable beach access but also to welcoming riders to explore our wide variety of shops, delicious restaurants, and summer-long events.”

Rules of the ride: In order to maintain the safety of all riders and provide adequate space for those on board, Beach Reach passengers must adhere to policies outlined below.

  1. All drinks must be in spill-proof containers. A cup with a spill-proof lid is sufficient per CARTA system policy.
  2. No alcoholic beverages are allowed on any CARTA vehicles.
  3. Limited bags and large items are allowed. Riders may bring up to four regular shopping-sized bags.
  4. Items brought on board must be held by riders or stowed safely beneath the seat. Items may not block the aisle or prevent seats from being used by other passengers at any time.
  5. No large, bulky items are allowed, including, but not limited to: tents, large beach umbrellas, surf boards, etc.
  6. Items such as chairs, small umbrellas, and boogie or body-boards are allowed but must adhere to the size-related rules listed above. Coolers are welcome, but must also adhere to the aforementioned policies.
  7. Shoes/flip-flops, pants/shorts and a shirt are required while riding the bus. Cover-ups are also acceptable.
  8. Riders who have not fully dried off when departing the beach must sit on a towel or mat once on board the bus.
  9. Bikes should be placed on the bike rack located at the front of the bus and are not allowed inside the vehicle at any time.
  10. No eating while on board. As mentioned above, drinks are permitted only in spill-proof containers.

Riders found to be in violation of any of the aforementioned policies may not be permitted on board the shuttle. 

ABOUT CARTA

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app.

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Plan Your Trip
Transit App

Download “Transit” and travel like a true Charlestonian.

Available in the App Store and on Google Play, “Transit” offers numerous features to help you easily navigate around Charleston.

Bus Route: See vehicle locations in real time, find nearby stops, and receive stop announcements.

Service Alerts: Keep on top of schedule changes, stop relocations and other unexpected surprises.

Favorites: Always take the same bus? Move it to the top of the list by adding it to your favorites.

Timetables: View the full schedule for a route and set alarms to remind you to leave.

Countdowns: Get real-time predictions based on data from the transit agency.

“Go”: Get step-by-step transit directions and notifications about when to leave for your trip and when to get off the bus.

Plan a trip!: Compare trips side by side with your preferred transport modes selected.

View Transit 101

Download TransitApp from Google Play Store
Download TransitApp from Apple Store
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