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Continue the Progress, Change the CARTA Plan

Carta is Doing Well


Use of and support for public transit is increasing in Charleston County. CARTA set a new ridership record boarding 425,895 riders in March 2012, a year to date increase of 15.84% over the first quarter of 2011 and 50 thousand more riders than it boarded in January 2012. Revenue for the same period was up 8.5%. At the same time the cost for passenger has been lower than at any time in the past six years, a record of $1.45 in January and $1.60 in March (probably reflecting higher fuel prices). New arrangements for federal reimbursement should substantially reduce accumulated debt this summer as a arrearage is eliminated. Riders can now use Google Transit to plan trips, automatically generating detailed itineraries online through www.ridecarta.com, Google maps, and apps on the Ipad, Iphone and Android devices. Bus arrival times should be updating in real time, based on GPS data transmitted from the buses by the end of summer. Improved bus stops are planned for several major roadways in the area as road improvement projects are completed. Drivers and mechanics working for our transit system have recently won major awards while moving more passengers, more efficiently than at any time in the past six years.

The Strategic Plan Lacks Vision and Confidence


The plan, developed without public input, calls for a 5% cut in transit services. No efforts to increase support for operations or replacing old buses are specified. This strategic plan includes no strategy. Plans to restore the CARTA at night service essential to workers in our hospitality and medical sectors are abandoned. The long planned North Charleston transit center for CARTA, Greyhound, Amtrak and other services is essentially put on hold. A new Express service for Boeing and additional service in North Charleston will be funded by cancelling bus routes and service elsewhere. Its our belief that this plan is a minimal effort which reflects a perceived lack of public support for something better. The plan says virtually nothing about improving the riders experience or system reliability.

Charleston County needs a better long term plan


CARTAs plan for the next five years should include
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2. 3. 4. 5.

Maintaining the current level of service with additional local financial support while working with the community through people to people initiatives to increase ridership on underperforming routes, including a rigorous effort to promote awareness of the new online trip planning capability provided by Google. Restoring night bus service when sales tax revenues or other new revenues will allow it . Working aggressively to be sure that safe, accessible bus stops are installed as new road construction and improvements at the Airport are completed. Modifying CARTAs existing, but underutilized service to the beaches at the Isle of Palms and ultimately restoring service to Folly Beach as well. Extending Google transit trip planning so that Tri County Link rural routes are also included as part of a single, connected route system.

Paying down debt and establishing a reserve fund as sales tax revenue and additional fare revenue will support it. 7. Establish Express Bus service to Boeing from Summerville with new revenues, including support from Dorchester County or Summerville, where most of those passengers will live. Charleston residents shouldnt be funding rides for Dorchester County. 8. Replace aging elements of the CARTA vehicle fleet with support from County and Municipal governments over a period of several years. 9. Lobbying Federal and State representatives, as well as private investors, to fund building the North Charleston transit center as a regional economic driver which will allow reorganizing the route system to a more efficient structure with a quick shuttle link to the airport and downtown.
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How you can help.


We expect the decision to cut service to be made over the summer when the abilty to organize public opposition is low, so the time to act is during May. Sign our petition online or in person to oppose further CARTA service cuts. 2. Contact your federal, state, county and municipal representatives and ask them to committee to the plan for improved public transit. Check our calendar on the Hungryneck Straphangers website for the dates and locations of their meetings. Call, write or email your representatives. 3. Plan to attend the May CARTA Board meeting to show your support for the plan. 4. Talk to your neighbors and other riders about the importance of a five year plan to improve transit with a target of reaching an annual ridership of 7.5 million by 2018.
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More information, events, updates see


The Hungreyneck Straphangers is a community transit advocacy group focused on service East of the Cooper. We are fully independent of CARTA and Tri County Link. For information on the effort see www.eastccrider.com or call William Hamilton (843) 870-5299