Mount Pleasant, SC- East Cooper received good news in the CARTA April 2014 ridership report. The #40 Mount Pleasant bus is now at 13 Riders per hour, total of 15,670 for the month, up 2,963 over one year ago, a 19.9% increase. That is an all time record ridership for this route, which carried 9704 passengers in July 2007. The route has been making a recovery from lost ridership during road construction in 2012 which tore up stops and sidewalks used by riders to access the service. The 40 route operates along Johnnie Dodds Blvd. and nearby areas between Wando High School and the Visitor’s Center in Downtown Charleston, where it connects with bus lines running to the Airport, free downtown DASH shuttle routes and other CARTA services.
The #41 Coleman Blvd. Route is now transporting 10 riders per hour, total of 3,393 up 1,341 from a year ago. This increase of 35% follows last month’s increse of 54%. The #41 runs from Ben Sawyer Blvd., along Coleman Blvd. to the Visitor’s Center downtown.
The #2 Express bus increased by 352 Riders a month over a year ago to a total of 5,848. The Express connects Park and Ride Stops at Oakland Market on North 17 and the old Kmart near Bowman Road to stops in Downtown Charleston and Citadel Mall.
On May 20 Hungryneck Straphangers (www.busec.org) sent volunteers to the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market to support a CARTA public information table there, helping reach over 70 families with information about using our bus lines to “Park Pleasantly” for free in lots in Mt. Pleasant and take the bus downtown to access the free DASH bus system there, avoiding traffic congestion and parking challenges in the historic city. The Straphangers also completed their spring canvas of Hotels in Mount Pleasant, providing information to hospitality staff on how putting visitors on our bus lines would improved their guest’s experiences here and make them more competitive in the Charleston tourism market by encouraging visitors to “Park Pleasantly and Play Downtown” for Spoleto and other events.
On May 28th, The Straphangers will propose improvements to Mount Pleasant’s comprehensive plan to improve transit services here over the next five years including improved covered bus stops at several locations. Hungryneck Straphangers is also participating in a national effort lead by Americans for Transit to support the proposed transportation infrastructure improvement bill now being considered by the US Congress, by distributing information to transit riders about the bill asking them to call Congressman Mark Sanford to indicate their support.
Visits to the Hungryneck Straphangers website have also increased to record levels, sometimes exceeding 35 new potential riders per day, a total of 910 visitors over the past thirty days. Many website visitors are tourists and new residents looking for the site’s detailed bus route information, which included riders tips and tricks for using the system.
After years of struggle, a partnership effort between the Hungryneck Straphangers, transit service providers, Town Governments, transit riders and bus driver’s organizations launched in 2011 has taken East Cooper’s routes from the verge of cancellation to steady progress. Route performance here is improving faster than the system average. Our routes now out perform several others in the system. Mount Pleasant’s increases are part of, but greatly exceed the gains in transit ridership being made across the US, an increase of 35% since 1995. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/us/use-of-public-transit-in-us-reaches-highest-level-since-1956-advocates-report.html?ref=us&_r=1
If you have ideas or input for Hungryneck Straphangers, you can contact coordinator William Hamilton through their website or call (843) 870-5299.