November is an important month for the East Cooper CARTA effort. Both local routes, the #401 East Cooper Connector and the #402 Island Flex have not met ridership standards. Everyone seems to recognize that more time is needed for the #401 to reach its goals considering the negative impact of road construction in Mount Pleasant on operations. The bus simply can’t keep a reliable schedule with the roads its operating on being snarled in traffic and construction barriers. Lots of improvements and effort is needed on the 401 but its utility and ultimate success seems to have everyone’s confidence. It also has the backing of a community wide effort supported by neighborhoods, schools, churches and business.
The #402 Island Flex is a much different story. It has continued to struggle with the issues which have plagued it since June. It never really performed like most people thought it would. There are some great new drivers on the route and major improvements in the operation of CARTA’s telephone reservation and dispatch system, but they’ve come after the busy summer season is over. Something different is going to need to be tried, possibly a bus connecting the front beach with a limited stop route connecting N. Charleston and Mt. Pleasant to the beach.
The CARTA board voted to put both routes before the Route Review Committee, the committee which adjusts, cancels and approves routes as their own rules require them to. There will be a hearing. We’re going to need to be ready.
Later, Lets Have Some Fun
Nov 13- Park Pleasantly, Play Downtown with the CARTA #40
East Cooper CARTA Riders will provide a guided tour to Second Sunday Festival on King Street on Sunday, November 13. Those interested can board the CARTA #40 bus anywhere along its route on the run beginning at Wando High School at 11:38 and arriving downtown at 12:38 or later runs. Riders can return home on either the 2:38, 4:38 or 6:38 runs from the Visitor’s Center Downtown to any point along the #40 route. Full information on the #40 CARTA Trans Mt. Pleasant bus route can be found at www.eastccrider.com.
In order to assist riders that day, updates from the #40 CARTA bus will be tweeted by @wjhamilton29464 or they can call 843 870-5299 for a telephone report on where the bus is between 11 am and 12:38. Activities the entire afternoon will be tweeted with hash code #CARTA40.
Second Sunday on King transforms King Street into a walkable, car free environment from Queen Street to Calhoun with outdoor dining, shopping specials and street entertainment. Since the event burdens the surrounding streets and parking facilities, the bus is an excellent way to access it from Mt. Pleasant. Those who made the trip in October said it was a delightful way to go downtown, parking pleasantly in lots along the route in Mt. Pleasant and playing downtown.
Then, Let’s Make some Money and have More Fun
Nov. 25- Black Friday on the Bus CARTA #401
Mount Pleasant’s East Cooper Connector #401 bus is a fun way to enjoy the busy Black Friday shopping day after Thanksgiving while sampling the Town’s surprising array of local and second hand shopping, as well as it’s major shopping areas. Members of East Cooper CARTA Riders will be on Board from 9 to 1 pm, sending out updates on Twitter and Facebook. Merchants can facebook and tweet specials and sales that day using hash code #CARTA401.
The East Cooper Connector links shoppers to five major shopping centers including Belle Hall, Town Centre, Sea Island Shopping Center, Patriot’s Plaza and all of Coleman Blvd. Over 25 antique and second hand shops can be found along the route from two Goodwills to high end purveyors of treasures from centuries ago. You’ll find plenty of your neighbors at both.
You’ll also find ECCO on the route serving the needy of our community and many small, local shops with unique gifts grown and made right here in the lowcountry. The Sweetgrass basket pavillion at Waterfront Park offers Mount Pleasant’s signature craft, our world famous baskets made by your neighbors, an heirloom gift that returns every penny spent on it back to your community.
To shop on Black Friday or any day, get full route information at www.eastccrider.com. The East Cooper Connector is an easy bus to use 12 hours a day, Monday through Saturday, following a lollypop shaped route around Mt. Pleasant. Merchants can post specials on the East Cooper CARTA Riders Facebook Event Page or tweet with hashcode #CARTA401
If you want your business to be involved email firstname.lastname@example.org with details on any special offers or sales your business located along the #401 route might like to offer that day and we’ll put them online here, tweet them out and let people know. A downloadable PDF guide will be available. Deadline for to submit offers will be Nov. 18.