Community Steps Up for CARTA

Students from the University School of the Lowcountry address the CARTA board in September 2011

Students from the University School of the Lowcountry in Mt. Pleasant Address the CARTA Board, Sept. 2011

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our effort to oppose the CARTA Cuts this month.  We had a good visit to yesterday’s board meeting and were encourage to see the attitude of the board moving in a new direction.   More members of the pubic spoke during the public comment period yesterday than at any CARTA board meeting in the past.  While the message got garbled here and there, more people are riding transit in Charleston than ever before and revenues are higher than they have ever been while the cost per rider trip is down.   Not every figure is hitting every projection, but they’re all continuing to get better.  We learned that the system will go from using schedule data to plan bus trips to real time GPS data transmitted from the buses themselves this summer.  You can use Google to plan your trips now on the CARTA website, Google maps, Iphones, Android Devices and Ipads.  This summer you be able to get an estimated arrival time for your bus based on where it actually is and how fast it is moving.

Here is the PDF Continue the Progress Handout distributed at the meeting.

Don't X Transit Logo

Logo for the Don't X Transit National Effort

We’re also now actively involved in the national effort to improve transit with advocacy on the Federal level, where we’re joining communities across the US.  Representatives of the national organization attended part of yesterday’s meeting.

Two routes were combined, but it doesn’t appear more route cancellations are ahead.  That could change.  Most of the capacity of those routes will be redeployed to improve performance where buses are now running standing room only.

Here is the report as it appeared on WCBD Channel 2.

There was also a report on WCIV Channel 4 and two articles in the Post and Courier.

The most important thing we’ve done this month is reinforce the CARTA Board’s commitment to building a better system.  They’re under relentless pressure to slash service from people who don’t care about what happens to people who need transit to get to work.  We can’t expect public officials to stand up for this system unless we do.

Our efforts will continue.  Here is what you can do.

  • Sign our petition online or in person to oppose further CARTA service cuts.
  • Contact your federal, state, county and municipal representatives and ask them to commit to a plan for improved public transit.
  • Check our calendar on the Hungryneck Straphangers website (see the menu bar above or our Facebook Page for the dates and locations of their meetings.
  • Join our “Cling for CARTA” effort.  Put a “Don’t X Transit” window cling at your home, organization or business and put an image of it on the Hungryneck Straphangers Facebook Page
  • Ride the bus.  Talk to your neighbors and other riders about the importance of improving transit with a target of reaching an annual ridership of 7.5 million by 2018.
  • Contact us if you have ideas or questions or (843) 870-5299.



Upcoming Riders’ Advocacy Event

Citizen's Hearing on Public Transit

SC State Senator Marlon Kimpson and Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, Inc. invite the people of the SC Lowcountry to the first Citizen’s Hearing on Public Transit on Tuesday, August 4 from 6 to 8 pm. at the International Longshoreman’s Hall at 1142 Morrison Dr, in Charleston, SC. The Longshoreman’s Hall is on the CARTA 11, 10, 20 & 104 Bus lines.

This will be an old fashioned type of public hearing. Anyone present will be given the opportunity to speak to the entire gathering, to put up images for everyone to see and to file written comments in a publically available internet archive.

Local organizations and campaigns will be offered the opportunity to setup information tables. However we’re asking political candidates to present their thoughts at public forums to be held in the fall and to use this opportunity to hear from the public. We record the entire hearing and stream it to the internet.

Food trucks will be available in the parking lot to provide evening meals for those present.

Input received at this hearing will be used to help Senator Kimpson and Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit shape their respective plans for moving our region towards more efficient and useful public transit in the next year.

Full information on this effort can be found at