ECCO Has a Deep Bench

East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) paid for the materials to place a new bench near their facility on Six Mile Road to serve riders using the CARTA 40 Bus Route which runs towards Charleston.  We were able to put out the second of our durable, eight foot benches under a lovely tree in their front yard.

Bus Stop bench installed near ECCO in Mount Pleasant, SC

Bus Stop bench installed near ECCO in Mount Pleasant, SC

ECCO has been helping people get through tough times since Hurricane Hugo and has moved from just providing emergency assistance to operating a health clinic and providing the basics for families who are starting over.  Their food pantry helps feed thousands of East Cooper residents a year.  Jack Little and his staff has supported public transit here by writing letters to the editor, training people on how to use the local transit system and distributing transit information to the community.

The struggle to maintain, insure and fuel an automobile can be a huge obstacle to families working with difficult problems.  Transit can be a leg up to families trying to recover their economic status and extends opportunities to search for and reach employment.  ECCO deals with these issues daily.  Communities which have places and systems which allow families to connect work, healthcare and family life without having to resort to an automobile greatly extend the range of options available.  ECCO’s location on Mount Pleasant’s most active bus line helps make its efforts more effective.  This is much better than creating a cliff where loss of the automobile dooms the family to unemployment.

These simple plastic brackets, costing about 22 dollars a pair make a simple, durable bench.  We use three for a very strudy, eight foot bench which can easily accommodate four people.  Made in USA as well.

These simple plastic brackets, costing about 22 dollars a pair make a durable bench. We use three for a very strudy, eight foot bench which can easily accommodate four people. Made in USA as well.

This is one of the busier stops on the CARTA 40 Bus Route.  In addition to ECCO clients, it serves the adjacent Goodwill facility, employees at the nearby shopping center and the historic Six Mile Community.  We were able to find some shade for this bench in a location where riders will have plenty of time to see the bus and reach the actual stop before the bus does, essential to efficient, on time operation.  The driver also has a clear view of the bench, which helps them plan the stop.

Here is a link to the Google Map location for this stop on Six Mile Road.

The Town of Mount Pleasant is preparing to install three permanent benches at bus stop this summer at the Inbound bus stops on Wingo Way, on the Frontage Road near Bowman Road (behind the Arbys) and across from Wando Crossing Shopping Center.  Hungryneck Straphangers has deployed temporary benches at Shelmore Blvd (near the BI-LO) and our “wandering bench” currently on Wingo Way will be moved to a new location after the town installs a permanent bench there.  CARTA is preparing to install a number of other benches and shelters on the system this year.  The Oakland Walmart recently upgraded the shelter and seating at their store on the N. End of Mount Pleasant.

However we still have several places which desperately need something temporary while the effort to upgrade our stops with permanent seating or shelters continues.  The materials to build a bench like this cost about 60 dollars.  Improved stops will lead to increased ridership, which benefits everyone.

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