You can ride the bus to a future that provides your family with secure access to affordable healthcare starting January 1, 2014.
With the December deadline to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act approaching, the SC Progressive Network, of which Hungryneck Straphangers and the Richland County Transit Rider’s Association are both members, has set up a major signup navigation assistance center in downtown Charleston. At the Lowcountry #Getcovered Surge Center, in Fountain Wharf next to the SC Aquarium you can get information on the law, prepare for your Navigation session and sit down for session with a Certified Navigator who will take you through the entire signup process.
When you are finished, you can select from one of 42 plans and options in SC, from four insurance companies and find out what portion of the cost of your coverage will be covered by the federal subsidy. For many transit riders, the cost of real health coverage has been less than $100 a month. Your final cost depends on family income and size. You can call for an appointment to 843.475.2859 or try just coming to the center (which may involve some waiting). The center will be open Monday to Friday, 9-5 until December 20. Those who sign up in December can #getcovered effective January 1, 2014.
When the site for the Center was chosen, one of the criteria was having public transit access. The Center is on the Aquarium DASH bus line, which provides a free link to and From the Visitor’s Center Downtown and the Mary Street Transit Center. To reach the DASH stop from the Mary Street Transit center walk South along the side of the Visitor’s Center until you reach the shelters on John Street.
To get to the Center follow these links to Google Maps. You can modify the start point of any of these trips to where you live, work or need to start your trip. All your connections and transfers will be calculated for you and you can print out a full map and plan for your trip.
- West Ashley, Citadel Mall to Fountain Walk, location of the Lowcountry #Getcovered Surge Center
- James Island, Folly Road to Fountain Walk
- Mount Pleaant, Wando High School to Fountain Walk
- Mount Pleasant, Ben Sawyer Blvd. to Fountain Walk
- N. Charleston, Northwoods Mall to Fountain Walk
- N. Charleston, Dorchester Road and Leeds Ave. to Fountain Walk
- Summerville Dorchester Village Shopping Center to Fountain Walk
Not that some of these automatically generated trips direct you to walk from the visitor’s Center to Fountain Walk, about half a mile. For those with difficulty walking that distance, the Free Aquarium Dash Bus makes that trip, going through the College of Charleston on the way. Just get off your bus next to the Visitor’s Center and walk one block South to the stop on John Street where all the DASH buses stop. You can get a DASH bus system map and assistance from your bus driver.
If you have more questions, call the CARTA customer service Center at (843) 724-7420
Those traveling from Rural areas may be able to use Tri County Link, the Lowcountry’s Rural Bus system to connect to CARTA and reach the Center. The C203 Tri County Link route runs from McClellenville to Mount Pleasant where you can transfer to the CARTA 40 or CARTA #2 Express. Other link routes run from Moncks Corner, Dorchester County and other rural areas.
Once you know where your stop is, use Bus Tracker to know when the next bus is going to arrive at that stop. While Google maps plans trips based on CARTA’s schedule information, Bus Tracker figures out the arrival time at your stop based on real time GPS data transmitted from the buses and the full data set of Google Transit traffic information, collected from millions of android systems phones in millions of other vehicles, adjusted based on traffic movement history. Be at your stop five mintues before bus tracker says your bus will arrive to account for data transmission and aggregation lag times.
Get on the bus. Go to the Lowcountry #Getcovered Surge Center. It is a trip worth taking. Next year your trips to the pharmacy and the doctor’s office can be less expansive and be part of a shared journey to better health.