East Cooper Connector Black Friday and Small Business Saturday on the #CARTA401 Bus

For two days following Thanksgiving the Town of Mount Pleasant and East Cooper CARTA Riders will cooperate to bring prosperity to businesses along the new CARTA 401 East Cooper Connector Bus route and to push the route over its 10 rider an hour goal.

Linda Page, whom is a member of the Mt. Pleasant Town Council

Linda Page, Mt. Pleasant Town Council, stands next to the door of a CARTA bus.

On Friday, Nov. 25, there will be an informal breakfast at Page’s Okra Grill 794 Coleman Boulevard, in Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 at 8 am, followed by four hours of volunteers maintaining a rider assistance presence on the #401 bus route from 9 am to 1 pm, tweeting out location and arrival time information to potential riders as @eastccrider with hashtag #CARTA401.  A facebook page and web page on the event will also be updated from the bus.  Friday will be a great time to try out our new community bus route while keeping tabs on the bus online. If all that internet technology isn’t comfortable just call (843) 870-5299 that day from 9 to 1 and East Cooper CARTA bus Riders will tell you where the #401 Bus is.

Businesses along the route can participate Saturday and Sunday by tweeting out specials and announcements with the #CARTA401 hashtag or by posting updates on the Facebook event page, both of which will be linked the www.eastccrider.com website.  Members of East Cooper CARTA Riders will be getting off the bus from time to time, to visit participating business to collect and transmit internet content.  Businesses can start helping out today by tweeting out location reports when they see the #CARTA401 bus in their area and are always welcome to promote their business using the hashtag.

The effort will continue through Small Business Saturday, a global event sponsored by American Express which is bringing together over two million people to promote shopping at small, local businesses Saturday, Nov. 26.  Merchants and shoppers will continue to have access  to the effort’s online resources and our wonderful new community bus route until Saturday evening at 7 pm.

The East Cooper Connector began running on April 17, 2011 with the goal of reaching a ridership standard of 10 passengers per hour by September 30, 2011.  Road construction in Mount Pleasant and uneven on time performance have hampered the community route development effort.  The Connector reached nine riders per hour in October 2011.  November’s effort, supported by schools, churches, businesses, government and volunteers from throughout the Town of Mount Pleasant is expected to bring that final rider per hour on board so the town can move forward with plans for bus stop and route improvements to make riding more comfortable and efficient.  The #40 and Express Routes in Mount Pleasant have had huge ridership increases this year despite the road construction.  Over 2000 more riders a month are on CARTA and Tri County Links Buses East of the Cooper than were a year ago.

Anyone with experience and the proper equipment necessary to do real time GPS beaconing of the #401 bus for those two days is asked to contact East Cooper CARTA riders.

Full information on all of these routes can be found at www.eastccrider.com and official CARTA information can be found at www.ridercarta.com

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 http://hungryneckstraphangers.com/?p=3785