What are the ways to determine where and when I can connect with a CARTA bus/route?
There are multiple ways you can see where and when CARTA can connect you with your destination:
- Google Trip Planner
- When using the internet on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone device, use the Google Trip Planner
- Enter the information for your arrival or departure and get your route, bus information and schedule information in seconds!
- System Map and Routes Maps
- Option 1: Review the System Map.
- Simply find your location on the map and look for the nearest route. Then follow it to see if it goes to your destination.
- If it does not go to your destination, look for connecting routes where you can transfer to complete your trip.
- Option 2: Review Routes Maps.
- Simply look on the appropriate route map, find the stop closest to you using the map controls in the top left corner of the map, then click the map pin for your chosen bus stop.
- After finding the appropriate route(s) to take for your trip, follow the stop closest to your destination by clicking its name underneath Today’s Primary Bus Stops to the right of the route map.
- View Bus Route Schedule underneath the route map for route schedules, primary stops and stop times to see where and when CARTA can connect you to your destination.
- Option 1: Review the System Map.
How can I locate bus stops?
Bus stops are usually located one or two blocks apart. There will be several stops listed (these are called time points), however most routes have more stops on the route. View a complete list of bus stops by route.
How do I identify my bus?
As a bus or shuttle approaches, be sure it is the one you need before boarding. The overhead sign, located above the bus windshield, shows the name and number of the bus route. In addition to the overhead sign, the DASH shuttles also have a color-coded destination sign in the window beside the passenger entrance.
What guidance to you provide riders for boarding, riding and exiting a CARTA regular route bus?
- Boarding and riding the bus
- Arrive at your stop at least five (5) minutes before the bus is scheduled.
- Have your fare ready when the bus approaches. Make sure you have the correct fare or pass ready as you board the bus (Please note: Drivers cannot make change).
- If you need to transfer to another route to complete your trip, you will need to purchase a transfer pass which is $.50. Please have this ready when you first board the bus and pay along with your fare. The driver will then issue you a transfer pass to board your next bus to complete your trip, or the driver will specify a certain place to obtain a transfer.
- Once you board the bus
- Take your seat as soon as possible and please do not change seats unless absolutely necessary.
- Keep aisles and exits clear. Blocking aisles or exits can slow down the bus. Try to keep bags or other items out of the aisles. If you have items with you, please keep them on you, under your seat or in above storage racks when available.
- Please be mindful that the seats are for passengers, especially when there is a high volume of passengers on your bus.
- Exiting the bus
- Notify the bus driver when you wish to exit the bus. As your destination approaches, simply pull the stop request cord that runs along the upper part of the window, or push a yellow stop request strip located on the side panels near the windows on.
- Use the rear or center door to exit when available. By exiting at the rear door, people waiting to board the bus can enter immediately through the front doors–this helps to keep the bus on schedule.
What guidance do you provide riders for boarding, riding and exiting a CARTA express route bus?
- Boarding and riding the bus
- Please try to arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before scheduled pick-up times.
- Please be prepared to board CARTA Express quickly and find your seat. The cost to ride Express is only $3.50 per ride. Please have exact change–bus drivers are unable to make change.
- Express gold passes are available to purchase online and at participating vendor locations.
- Employees and students at participating partners, please be prepared to show your ID as you board the bus.
- If all seats are occupied, you may stand behind the yellow line that is located in the front near the driver as long as there is standing room where you can grasp a handle, pole or overhead poles.
- Exiting the bus
- Each Express route features just a handful of convenient route stops – please be prepared to exit the bus as your stop approaches.
- Signal the driver that you need to exit at the approaching stop by pressing the yellow signal strip located on the side panels near the window.
- Check to make sure you have all your items and stay seated until the bus comes to a stop.
What is DASH?
DASH stands for Downtown Area Shuttle. DASH Shuttles can connect you with all of Charleston’s attractions. Restaurants, area beaches, shopping & entertainment venues, hotels and historic sites are all found on our routes. No need to hunt for parking when you can simply climb aboard at one of our many conveniently placed bus stops throughout Downtown Charleston and enjoy the ride!
How is DASH different from regular CARTA buses?
DASH shuttles have what is called “low floor”, or no steps to enter vehicle, which makes it easier to board for everyone; it also helps speed up boarding process which helps to keep the shuttle on time.
DASH shuttles have cushioned seats and panoramic windows for fantastic visibility of the downtown area as passengers ride in style.
How much does it cost to ride?
Seniors 55+ pay only $1.00 per trip for Fixed Route Service during non-peak hours.
Non Peak Hours: Monday through Friday from 9am-3:30pm and after 6pm; all day Saturday and Sunday and Holidays
Drivers may request proof of age. Medicare cards or I.D. card with date of birth will serve as identification for the fare.
What is the seating capacity on DASH shuttles?
The vehicle seats 24 passengers and an additional 24 standing. They have the same seating capacity as buses; however, more floor space allows for more standing room.
Fares and Passes
How much does it cost to ride a regular route?
The Regular Fare is $2.00 for the Metro Buses. Children under 6 are able to ride regular routes for free when accompanied by a paying family member or friend.
How much does it cost to ride DASH?
The Shuttles (DASH) are free to all residents and visitors.
Does CARTA offer discount fares?
Low Income Discount Fares of $1.25 are available for those who qualify. The Low Income Fare determination is located at the SC Works (Formally known as Trident One Stop Career Center) located at 1930 Hanahan Road, North Charleston, SC 29406. The phone number is 843-574-1810. Low Income Discount Fare ID Cards are issues between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Children aged six (6) and under ride free when a paying passenger accompanies them. School groups should call ahead for fare information at 843-724-7420.
Seniors 55+ only pay $1.00 for Metro Bus Service Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and after 6:00 p.m., all day Saturday and Sunday, and Holidays. Drivers may request proof of age. Medicare cards or an I.D. card with date of birth will serve as identification for the fare.
Disabled patrons ride for $0.75 all day, every day.
Patrons with a valid Tel-A-Ride I.D. card can ride for $0.75.
How much are passes?
The following passes are available:
One Day Pass: $7.00
Three Day Pass: $14.00
Ten Trips Pass: $16.00
Forty Trips Pass: $56.00
Thirty-One Day Pass: $57.00
Express Pass (31-Day): $99.00
Where can I purchase a pass?
Bus passes can be purchased on this website in the Fares & Passes section. They can also be purchased in person at these locations:
Charleston Visitor Center 375 Meeting Street Mon-Sun, 8:30am-5pm 843.724.7174
- MT. PLEASANT
Mt. Pleasant Visitor Center 99 Harry M. Hallman Blvd Mon – Sun, 9am-5pm
- NORTH CHARLESTON
Main Office 3664 Leeds Ave. Mon-Fri, 8:30am – 5pm 843.724.7420
- NORTH CHARLESTON
SC Works Career Center 1930 Hanahan Road Mon – Fri, 8:30am-5pm 843.574.1800
- NORTH CHARLESTON
Piggly Wiggly 8780 Rivers Ave Mon-Sun, 7am – 11pm 843.764.3039
- NORTH CHARLESTON / HANAHAN
Price Wise 1270 Yeamen’s Hall Rd Mon-Sat, 7am-10pm Sun, 8am-9pm 843.747.6373
Does CARTA promote rider etiquette?
These are CARTA’s Rules of the Road to Remember:
- Do not carry open cans or bottles on the bus. They are a safety hazard.
- Do not play radios (without headphones) on the bus. If you do have headphones, please use at a volume that does not disturb other passengers or the driver.
- Do not smoke on the vehicles.
- Do not bring alcoholic beverages on board the buses.
- Do not use profanity aboard the vehicles.
- Animal Policy–Police dogs, guide, signal or service dogs are the ONLY pets permitted on CARTA buses.
- Courtesy Seats–The seats located in the front of each bus and trolley behind the driver are reserved for senior citizens and disabled passengers.
- Lost and Found–Lost items are turned in at the CARTA Operations Center in North Charleston, available by calling (843) 724-7420; the route name, number, time and direction of travel are helpful when calling.
What accessibility services does CARTA provide?
All CARTA fixed route buses are wheelchair accessible and meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
If you have difficulty getting to the bus stop and/or riding fixed-route buses, CARTA also offers para-transit services (Tel-A-Ride) for eligible customers with disabilities and are unable to use regular fixed route services.
It is the policy of the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority that all CARTA-sponsored public meetings and events are accessible to people with disabilities. If you need assistance in participating in this meeting or event due to a disability as defined under the ADA, please call the CARTA ADA Coordinator at (843) 529-0400 Ext. 202 or e-mail JBurns@ridecarta.com at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event to request an accommodation.
Additional Accessibility Services
What are CARTA buses equipped with to accommodate riders with disabilities?
CARTA is committed to making our public transit system increasing accessible to members of the community with various disabilities. We make riding easy with these extra bus features:
- Lifts accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
- Buses lower or “kneel” to the curb to make boarding easy.
- Priority seating is available for customers with disabilities. These seats are conveniently located at the front of the bus. Bus operators will secure wheelchairs and scooters.
- Service animals are welcome.
How much are fares for riders with disabilities?
Fares are only $0.75 everyday, all day with valid CARTA Card.
Riders with disabilities can ride the bus at a reduced fare. You must have a CARTA ID Card issued by SC Works (formally Trident One Stop) to qualify. For more information, see Special Rates.
How to get a CARTA disability ID card?
Make sure you have a photo ID and proof of disability before applying.
- Provide the accepted documents:
- Medicare Card (required)
- Social Security Award Letter or Veteran Disability Award Letter (at least 1 is required)
- Apply in person:
- Request an application by mail:
Do you provide similar services for visitors who need public transportation?
If you’re visiting Charleston and are disabled, you can ride CARTA at the discounted rate when you show your Medicare Card, or your Disabled ID Card from your home transit system. A visitor to the Charleston area may also use Tel-A-Ride if he or she is certified by another transit system or is found to be eligible for the service in Charleston. Likewise, a Tel-A-Ride patron may be eligible for similar service in other cities. Your Tel-A-Ride identification card will certify your eligibility for paratransit service in Charleston. For questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-724-7420.
Where can CARTA take senior citizens?
CARTA takes you to most hospitals, libraries, grocery stores, shopping centers and service agencies throughout the Charleston area.
What discounts do you offer senior citizens?
Seniors receive over a 50% discount on regular fares during non-peak hours.
What can I do if I want to ride, but I’m not sure how?
Simply call 843-724-7420 and let our operations staff pair you with a CARTA Ambassador! Learn the ropes and make a new friend.
Bus Features Make Your Ride Safe and Enjoyable
- Lifts accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices
- Buses lower to the curb to make boarding easy
- Service animals are welcome
Are pets allowed on CARTA vehicles?
Guide, signal, and service animals and police dogs are the ONLY pets permitted on CARTA vehicles.
How does CARTA handle media requests?
Since Charleston’s mass transit system is governed by eight member governments and by regulations of the Federal Transportation Authority, CARTA has a responsibility to consider any media requests and handle them as the system deems appropriate, on a case by case basis. CARTA asks that all media outlets respect the rights of bus system users, drivers and other staff to wait for and ride the bus system without disturbance.
The following policy and guidelines have been set for CARTA to effectively and quickly handle any media requests from documented media outlets and contact:
- Request to board any CARTA bus should be submitted more than 48 business hours in advance of need.
- Media must provide assignment details in writing or over the phone, including timing, focus of the story, interview needs (CARTA spokesperson, driver and/or passenger), if bringing a video or traditional camera, etc.
- When media contacts the CARTA office, a CARTA employee will record all necessary details (name, media outlet, request, timing, etc.). The CARTA employee then will send the information to Rawle Murdy and also ask the media contact to contact Rawle Murdy directly.
- All media requests will be relayed to Rawle Murdy, on behalf of CARTA. Media outlets are welcome to contact Daniel Brock with Rawle Murdy directly with any requests.
- CARTA request the opportunity to comment on any story that is filmed on or about CARTA buses or the transit system.
- When the request is to board a CARTA bus, a CARTA representative must be present. This is to aid in coordination of any interview and access needs in a timely and smooth manner.
What are CARTA’s service hours?
The hours and days of CARTA fixed route and Tel-a-Ride paratransit operation are generally:
Monday – Friday, 5:15 am to 1:00 am
Saturday, 6:00 am to 12:00 am
Sunday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm
CARTA fixed route riders are advised to check individual route schedules for specific service times.
What are CARTA’s service hours on holidays?
- All routes operate on a Sunday schedule during the following holidays:
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Day
- DASH does not operate during the following holidays:
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Day
- Express Routes do not operate during the following holidays:
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Day after Christmas
What is CARTA’s policy for providing service during inclement weather conditions?
During inclement weather conditions, CARTA will implement one of the following plans:
- Continue bus service to major thoroughfares that are passable, but not on impassible neighborhood or side streets that are difficult or dangerous to negotiate during bad weather. (Please note that delays may be expected under these conditions, but bus service will be provided to the fullest extent possible.)
- When even the main thoroughfares prove too hazardous for safe bus travel, all bus service will be temporarily discontinued.
- Tel-a-Ride service will be provided on a limited basis to dialysis clients.
- When weather conditions require CARTA to suspend buses, TEL-A-RIDE service will also be suspended. However, the Tel-A-Ride Supervisor will insure that all customers receiving service are returned to their point of origin prior to removing the vehicle from service.
Upon confirmation of service changes from the Executive Director, public information regarding services is to be disseminated by CARTA staff using all of the following methods:
- Information is made available on social media
- TWITTER: @rideCARTA
- FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/rideCARTA
- LOCAL TELEVISION MEDIA CLOSING AND DELAYS:
- Local news outlets WEBSITES: Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority
Management / Transdev
Who is Transdev and what is their role in supporting CARTA?
Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) contracts Transdev Services, Inc., to manage its transportation system. Transdev is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CARTA bus and paratransit services in Charleston, which includes the hiring, training and managing drivers, maintenance, call center dispatch and other employees to ensure safety, maintenance and customer service standards for the riders of the CARTA service.