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CARTA Approves Free Student Fare Program

The Charleston Area Transportation Authority (CARTA) Board of Directors voted last week to implement a permanent policy allowing students in grades K-12 to ride at no cost as part of the system’s Free Student Fare initiative.

The fare structure had previously been in place as a pilot program since early 2019 and has seen monthly ridership surpass 7,000.

“The Free Student Fare initiative permanently eliminates a mobility barrier for students, sets the stage for the next generation of transit ridership and offers relief to parents whose children ride CARTA,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Getting to school, recreational activities or a part-time job is easier than ever for students and making those connections for free today allows kids to get comfortable with public transit.”

The Free Student Fare program is available to all public and private school students and applies to all CARTA services. Children under 5 also ride for free. Student IDs are recommended when boarding. 

CARTA buses can be tracked in real-time by downloading the Transit App. Trips can be planned and details on CARTA routes and services can be found at RideCARTA.com. Questions regarding the program should be directed to CARTA marketing and communications manager Michelle Emerson, who can be reached at memerson@bcdcog.com or (843) 529-0333.

CARTA Announces Shuttle Service to IOP

September 16, 2020

New Beach Shuttle to Initially Run Through Oct. 18

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) Board of Directors voted today to approve shuttle service to the Isle of Palms.

The pilot CARTA Beach Shuttle will be free of charge to riders and run on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Service will begin this Saturday and end Sunday, Oct. 18. 

“The CARTA Beach Shuttle is an opportunity to provide an additional connection to our region’s beaches,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Over the next month, we’ll observe how the route functions and use what we learn to map out a long-term strategy that will provide benefit to residents throughout the region.”

The CARTA Beach Shuttle will depart hourly from the Charleston County East Cooper Service Center in Mount Pleasant at 1189 Sweetgrass Basket Parkway, then stop at 14th Ave. at Ocean Blvd. and Palm Blvd at 28th Ave. on the Isle of Palms before making its way back to Mount Pleasant.

Route information and bus tracking will be available in the Transit App, which can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

“By partnering with the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments and CARTA, the City of Isle of Palms is leveraging organizations that have already begun collaborating with multiple entities to put in place a quality transportation solution in a timely manner,” said Isle of Palms City Councilman Phillip Pounds. “Our hope is to bring a solution to the Lowcountry that allows all to enjoy the beaches without creating the parking and congestion issues on the island that we have seen in the past.”

Shuttle Policies

  • Masks or face coverings required at all times while on board.
  • Riders are allowed to bring a maximum of four regular shopping bags or small packages or parcels. Riders must be able to carry items on and off the vehicle safely and be able to control all items during the operation of the vehicle.
  • Items must not obstruct the aisle, interfere with the operation of the vehicle or prevent seats from being used by other passengers.  
  • Packages must be able to be held by riders or stowed safely under the seat.
  • Large items (umbrellas, surfboards, beach wagons, etc.) are not permitted at this time. Umbrellas and chairs are available to rent on the beach. Chairs are allowed as long as they adhere to regulations listed above.

CARTA, TriCounty Link Return to Full Service May 26

ALL PASSENGERS REQUIRED TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS BEGINNING MAY 26

CHARLESTON (May 20, 2020) – The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and TriCounty Link will return to full operations on Tuesday, May 26, with limited exceptions.

All riders will be required to wear masks or face coverings while on board and the agencies will be dispensing masks to those without them, along with hand sanitizer. Riders are also encouraged to maintain as much distance from each other and bus operators as possible.

Route 4 Airport Express and Route 203 Medical Shuttle will not return to service on the 26th, but will be back at a future date. The Route 7 HOP Shuttle will continue to operate on a limited basis for the time being. Full Tel-A-Ride service will resume June 1.

Return to Regular Service

As CARTA service returns to regular levels, staff will continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation related to COVID-19.  The safety of our passengers, employees and community members continues to be our top priority and we will carry forward enhanced protocols aimed at keeping everyone as safe as possible.

All measures put in place are intended to help keep our passengers and staff safe as we continue to move through this pandemic. With that in mind, please note:

  • If you feel sick, stay home and do not ride the bus.
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth with tissue or cough/sneeze into your bent elbow – not into your hands.

Required PPE

  • Masks/Face Coverings: All passengers and drivers will be required to wear cloth masks or face coverings when aboard CARTA vehicles. Free masks will be available for riders. Please take only one when needed to ensure we continue to have masks available for all passengers. 
  • Refusal to wear a mask or face covering, or acting in an unsafe, manner will result in denial of entry or expulsion from CARTA vehicles.

Social Distancing

  • Bus Stops & Shelters: Use social distancing measures when waiting for the bus.
  • Boarding: Maintain 3-to-6 feet of spacing between passengers when queuing and boarding. Have fares ready before the bus arrives to allow for a faster process.
  • Aboard CARTA Vehicles: Staff is monitoring capacity levels on all vehicles to determine if additional deployment is required to allow for and encourage social distancing. Managing capacity levels is a priority moving forward.
    • Seating: When space is available, please do not sit or stand next to another passenger. Seating near the driver area has been restricted.
    • Partitions: Temporary barriers are in place to separate drivers from passengers. Permanent barriers will soon be installed.

Sanitation

  • Buses are cleaned nightly with two hospital-grade disinfectant sprays endorsed by the CDC for their ability to kill Coronavirus and many other viruses. 
  • The sprays are dispersed using electrostatic disinfecting, which involves quickly and evenly coating a surface with a disinfecting solution.
  • Staff is also wiping down all hard surfaces and high-touch areas when buses are cleaned nightly and managers are visually confirming cleanliness each day.
  • We advise riders to try to take special care when riding and use sanitizer or wipes to cleanse any area or item they may come into contact with whenever possible

Please keep in mind that thousands of individuals ride our buses daily. Although it is impossible to keep vehicles completely clean at every moment throughout the day, what we can do is ensure they start out clean, that they are cleaned and disinfected every night and that any safety issues are handled as quickly as possible.

If you see any problems, please inform your driver immediately and/or report it to customer service either through online chat at www.ridecarta.com or by calling (843) 724-7420. Please have the bus number, route and time of day ready when reporting issues and do as quickly as possible to ensure a timely response.

CARTA Connects With Calvary Lutheran Church to Deliver Groceries to the Blind, Visually Impaired

 

Tel-A-Ride Paratransit Service Proves Itself Critical During Covid-19

NORTH CHARLESTON (May 12, 2020)  The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) recently partnered with a local church to deliver much-needed groceries to a host of blind and visually impaired residents in the Charleston area.

Joining with Calvary Lutheran Church in West Ashley, CARTA provided two Tel-A-Ride paratransit vans as delivery vehicles for the Friday afternoon support. (more…)

CARTA Takes Delivery of Local-Made Hand Sanitizer in Fight Against COVID-19


Local Distillery to Help Keep Public Transit Riders Healthy During Crisis

CHARLESTON (May 11, 2020) The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) received delivery of a 55-gallon container of hand sanitizer from a downtown Charleston distillery Monday.

Partnering with local spirit maker High Wire Distilling Company, CARTA picked up the drum filled with hand sanitizer, which will be used throughout the CARTA transit system in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the region. (more…)

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Transit App

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