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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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Driver Hiring Event Tuesday 06.07.22

Join us tomorrow for a hiring event from 9am-1pm at the CARTA facilities located at 3664 Leeds Ave.

  • Onsite interviews and hiring
  • Sign on bonus of $2500
  • Starting pay $17.97 (Starting pay increase to $18.51 starting July 1st)
  • Paid training available to obtain your CDL
  • CDL and non-CDL positions available

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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CARTA ANNOUNCES ‘NO PAY MAY’ INITIATIVE

FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, CARTA SERVICES WILL BE OFFERED FOR FREE

NORTH CHARLESTON (April 28, 2022) – During a press conference this morning, Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) leaders announced a new “No Pay May” initiative, which aims to encourage new ridership by offering all CARTA services at no cost for the month of May.

The initiative, which is a first in system history, will begin on Sunday, May 1, 2022 and run through Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

“With mask mandates lifting and our world increasingly getting back to normal, we’re making it easier than ever for folks throughout the region to come check out everything that CARTA has to offer,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Don’t just take our word for it – get on board and see for yourself.”

The “No Pay May” initiative excludes CARTA OnDemand rides, which are contracted separately.

 

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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MEDIA CONTACT
Daniel Brock, Regional Strategist

BCDCOG

(919) 820-2612

danielb@bcdcog.com

 

Chloe Field, Account Manager

BGRM

(412) 477-5358

cfield@rawlemurdy.com

 

Ride CARTA for FREE th

CARTA and Tricounty Link Mask Requirement Suspended – EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

 

REGIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL MASK MANDATE

MASK REQUIREMENT SUSPENDED EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

 

NORTH CHARLESTON (April 19, 2022) — Today, Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority and TriCounty Link Executive Director Ron Mitchum released the following statement regarding the Federal mask mandate:

“In accordance with guidance from the Federal Transit Administration, effective immediately, CARTA and Tricounty Link have suspended mask requirements on all vehicles. Masks will continue to be made available to riders, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that riders wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.”

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 TRICOUNTY LINK

The TriCounty Link system is composed of nine regular fixed routes and six commuter routes providing services to rural residents of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. The current fleet consists of 60 vehicles seating from 14 to 32 passengers. All TriCounty Link vehicles are ADA compliant and include wheelchair lifts, and on average, two wheelchair tie-down positions per vehicle. For the latest on TriCounty Link, visit www.ridetricountylink.com and like us on Facebook.

 

 

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MEDIA CONTACTS
Daniel Brock, Regional Strategist

BCDCOG

(919) 820-2612

danielb@bcdcog.com 

 

Chloe Field, Account Manager

BGRM

(412) 477-5358

cfield@rawlemurdy.com

CARTA, TRICOUNTY LINK Announce New Mobile Ticketing Option

 

Riders can now purchase tickets via the Token Transit App

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and TriCounty Link (TCL) today announced their partnership with Token Transit, a free mobile ticketing application that gives riders a new, cashless payment option and eliminates the need for a paper pass.

Effective immediately, CARTA and TCL riders will have the ability to purchase digital bus passes using credit or debit cards via the Token Transit app on their iOS or Android smartphones. Fares paid for through the app can be used at the time of purchase or stored for later use and activation. Cash payments and paper passes will continue to be accepted.

After purchasing tickets, CARTA riders will hold their phones near Token Transit validators now onboard system buses. TriCounty Link riders will be able to board after presenting an in-app ticket to their driver.

“The new partnership between our local transit providers, CARTA and TriCounty Link, and Token Transit serves as yet another example of the strides we continue to take to provide convenient and efficient transportation for our riders,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “For years, smartphones have made it easy for users to stay connected in the digital space, and now, with the help of the Token Transit app, connecting our riders to destinations throughout the region will be as easy as the click of a button.”

To download the Token Transit app, please visit www.tokentransit.com or search “Token Transit” in the Apple or Google Play stores.

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ABOUT TOKEN TRANSIT
Token Transit is a mobile app to pay for public transportation. Using the Token Transit app, riders can purchase transit passes on their smartphones and board the bus by showing the driver a pass on their phone. Transit agencies are choosing Token Transit as a rapidly deployable alternative to smartcards in order to boost ridership, decrease costs, and improve service. Founded in San Francisco with the mission to increase access to public transportation across the United States, the company is helping transit agencies of all sizes provide an easy and convenient rider experience. For more information visit: www.tokentransit.com or download ‘Token Transit’ on your iPhone or Android.

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MEDIA CONTACTS
Daniel Brock, Regional Strategist
BCDCOG
(919) 820-2612
danielb@bcdcog.com

Chloe Field, Account Manager
BGRM
(412) 477-5358
cfield@rawlemurdy.com

Bridge Run Service Impacts and Detours 2022

Week of Bridge Run

Expect some route delays this week due to higher traffic volumes throughout the area related to the Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday 04.02.22

  • On Thursday, March 31st and Friday, April 1st due to increased traffic volumes related to the Bridge Run, riders can expect potential delays on all routes traveling in the North Charleston area near the Coliseum and Tanger Outlets as well as in the Downtown Charleston area as participants pick up their packets and weekend activities begin.
  • All buses including Express buses will be running on regular schedule but may be affected by the high volumes of traffic.
  • FRIDAY NIGHT – Expect some route delays and detours Friday after 6pm in the downtown area as road closures begin in order to prep for the run.

 

Route Service Day of Bridge Run – Saturday April 2, 2022

On Saturday, April 2nd all routes that travel into the downtown area will be affected by road closures, detours and high volumes of traffic, expect possible delays.

  • DASH routes 210 and 211 will not start until the race is completed.  DASH 213 will run on a detour.
  • Routes 10, 11, 20, 30, 31, 33, 40, and 41 will all have detours.  Click the link below to view all detours that will be in effect until service returns to regular service after the roads are reopened.

Mt. Pleasant Service:

In order to be as efficient as possible to transport our passengers around Mt. Pleasant and to Downtown while the bridge is closed during the Bridge Run, Routes 40 and 41 will run as follows on Saturday morning 4/02/22:

  • Rt. 40 has three vehicles dedicated to it.  One bus will circulate only in the Mt. Pleasant area.  Using Towne Center as a transfer point, passengers can transfer to the other two Rt. 40 buses that will travel back and forth to the Downtown area via I526 until the completion of the race.
  • Rt. 41 will run only in Mt. Pleasant on a detour until the race is completed.  It will also stop at Towne Center as a transfer point to the Rt. 40 that will be traveling downtown.

Expect some delays on these routes until the bridge has reopened and service returns to normal.

Riders are encouraged to use the transit app and/or the Text or Call for Next Bus (843-202-4410) features for real time route information. Customer service representatives can be reached at 843-724-7420 and will be available through the chat feature located here at ridecarta.com.

Click CARTA 2022 Bridge Run route detours  to view detours that will occur the day of the bridge run – Saturday, April 2, 2022.

 

Winter Weather Storm Advisories January 2022

8 P.M. UPDATE – Service Advisory No.4|

Lanes have reopened on the Ravenel Bridge and routes are returning to regular schedules. Riders should check back periodically for updates on potential route disruptions if ice issues occur as temperatures rise during the day on Sunday (1.23.22).

Service Advisory No.4| Saturday, Jan. 22nd, 6:00 p.m.

All Northbound lanes of the Ravenel Bridge and the 2 inside Southbound lanes are currently closed to traffic due to falling ice from the suspension cables. In order to be as efficient as possible to transport our passengers around Mt. Pleasant and to Downtown while the bridge is closed routes 30/40 and 41 will run as follows:

  • Rt. 41 will run only in Mt. Pleasant on a detour until the bridge reopens.  It will also stop at Towne Center as a transfer point to the Rt. 40 vehicles that will be traveling downtown.
  • Rt. 30/40 has three vehicles dedicated to it.  One bus will circulate as Route 30 only. Using Towne Center as a transfer point, passengers can transfer from Rt. 41 to the other two Rt. 40 buses that will travel back and forth to the Downtown area via I526 until the bridge reopens.

Expect some delays on these routes until the bridge has reopened and service returns to normal.

Service Advisory No.3 | Friday, Jan. 21st, 1:00 p.m.

As inclement weather conditions progress, service may start late, end early, or be suspended if roads and/or bridges close and it becomes unsafe to continue operations.

Current service impacts:

  • All Express service and Route 203 will start 1 hour early this afternoon
  • All Express service will end 1 hour early this evening
  • Route 203 -The last trip from Jonathan Lucas will be at 8:30 p.m.
  • All other fixed-routes expected to run as regularly scheduled throughout the day as long as conditions permit
  • Expect potential service disruptions and possible service suspension for routes running after 7 p.m.
  • Saturday (Delayed start) – All routes expected to start running at 10 a.m. pending weather and road conditions.

Staff continues to closely monitor weather and road conditions on Friday and Saturday.  Conditions could change very rapidly and riders are encouraged to take any necessary trips earlier today before condition deteriorate and check RideCARTA.com periodically for service updates.

Service Advisory No.2 Thursday, Jan. 20th 7:00 p.m.

All Express service and Route 203 will start 1 hour earlier tomorrow due to early closures and inclement weather. 

At this time, all other CARTA fixed- route services are scheduled to run as regularly scheduled on Friday and Saturday.  However, conditions could change very rapidly and riders should be prepared to check RideCARTA.com periodically for service updates.

As inclement weather conditions progress, service may start late, end early, or be suspended if roads and/or bridges close and it becomes unsafe to continue operations.

Service delays, detours or suspension notifications will be sent via the following channels:

  • RideCARTA.com
  • Social Media: Facebook: @rideCARTA, Twitter: @rideCARTA @CARTA_Alerts)
  • The “Transit” app: Riders are encouraged to download the app for service change notifications     
  • Announcements will also be provided to local media 

Staff will continue to closely monitor reports and conditions on Friday and Saturday to determine if additional service modifications are required.

Service Advisory No.1 Thursday, Jan. 20th 4:00 p.m.

At this time, all CARTA fixed- route services are scheduled to run as regularly scheduled on Friday and Saturday.

However, conditions could change very rapidly and riders should be prepared to check RideCARTA.com periodically for service updates.

As inclement weather conditions progress, service may start late, end early, or be suspended if roads and/or bridges close and it becomes unsafe to continue operations.

Service delays, detours or suspension notifications will be sent via the following channels:

  • RideCARTA.com
  • Social Media: Facebook: @rideCARTA, Twitter: @rideCARTA @CARTA_Alerts)
  • The “Transit” app: Riders are encouraged to download the app for service change notifications     
  • Announcements will also be provided to local media 

Staff will be closely monitoring reports throughout the day as well as conditions on Friday and Saturday.  Transit operations are essential and any suspended service will be as brief as possible.

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
TransitApp