Tel-A-Ride Paratransit

Tel A Ride is CARTA transportation service for the disabled. All CARTA vehicles are equipped with wheelchair lifts, but many disabled riders need door to door transportation.  A companion can ride with the disabled passenger.

Tel A Ride Van in Downtown Charleston

Tel A Ride is a “paratransit” service meaning it is available to riders living in areas served by other CARTA services.  It offers riders huge savings over private handicapped transportation services or ambulences. Some riders receive passes from the entity providing their medical care.  A doctor must certify a rider’s qualification to use Tel-A-Ride yearly. The card issued also entitles passengers to deep discounts on regular bus service.

In Mount Pleasant, East Cooper Community Outreach assists riders in qualifying for and learning how to use the Tel-A-Ride service.

The East Cooper Community Outreach Sign

Stops running to and from Charleston are located on Six Mile Road, near Ecco. The Inbound stop is by ECCO and has a wooden bench. The Outbound is across the street.

For disabled riders, particularly parents, Tel-A-Ride provides a significant amount of freedom and dignity.  The service is oversubscribed and confronts a huge amount of need, however drivers and dispatch at CARTA do their best with this needed service. It’s important to respect the value of this resource and clients should plan their trips early and carefully, making sure they’re ready when the van arrives. If a client doesn’t show up to take their raid, CARTA can suspend Tel-A-Ride service. Every minute and every mile these vans operate is a lifeline for someone, so lets all work together to make it count.

East Cooper CARTA riders plans to work with ECCO and other organization to assist disabled riders in accessing this service, to encourage more disabled riders to use the regular buses to reduce load on the Tel-A-Ride system and to improve access to regular CARTA stops for wheelchairs.  Upgrading existing infrastructure is a huge, but important challenge.

Full details on Tel-A-Ride, including a copy of the application,  can be found on the CARTA Website