Thursday, May 1, 2014
All East Cooper CARTA bus routes showed major increases in ridership in the April 2014 reports issued by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority. The new No. 41 Coleman Boulevard Route, which runs from Downtown, through Patriot's Point and along Coleman Boulevard to the BI-LO on Ben Sawyer Boulevard posted an impressive 1,018 additional passengers per month.
The No. 41 achieved a total of 2,900 riders, a 54-percent increase. One small bus runs on this route, at 70-minute intervals, six days per week.
Mount Pleasant's major route, the No. 40 Mount Pleasant, which runs on and near Johnnie Dodds Boulevard between the Visitor's Center in Downtown Charleston and Wando High School, saw ridership increase from March 2013 to March 2014 by 1,241 rides.
The route posted a monthly total of 13,980 rides, a 9.7-percent increase. This seven-day route operates three buses on weekdays at 40-minute intervals. The No. 2 Express, which runs from Park and Ride Stops at Oakland Market Shopping Center and Kmart to Downtown and Citadel Mall, increased ridership by 5 percent over the same period, rising 461 rides to a total of 9,492. The Tri County Link Bus, which runs along 17 North from McClellenville to Mount Pleasant, also posted a ridership increase. Total ridership in East Cooper has recovered from the losses suffered during the major highway construction effort here, which tore up stops and sidewalks along both routes.
Transit ridership east of the Cooper is now at the highest level in more than 35 years. In July 2007, the No. 40 posted a total of 9,704 monthly riders.
Overall ridership east of the Cooper has nearly tripled since the system resumed operations.
Issues confronting further improvement in transit system performance east of the Cooper include improvements to additional bus stops, restoring service to the Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island, and increasing frequency of service on the No. 41 route.
Hungryneck Straphangers, the local public transit advocacy group will participate in National Transit month in May with public transit outreach. For more information on Hungryneck Straphangers, see www.busec.org or call 843-870-5299.