Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority

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Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority logo-a.png
Founded: 1997
Headquarters: 36 John Street, Charleston, SC
Locale: Charleston, South Carolina
Service Area: Charleston and Dorchester Counties
Service Type: Local, Express, Dial-a-Bus, and Free Shuttles
Routes: 24 (+/-)
Stops: 835 (+/-)
Hubs: 2 Transit Center (1 Proposed)
Fleet: 106 (Fixed Route)
Operator: Transdev
Avg. Daily Ridership: 13,368 (2013)


Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority, or CARTA, is the transit system serving the cities of Charleston and North Charleston and suburban areas of Mt. Pleasant in South Carolina. The bus and maintenance operations are currently contracted to Transdev.

History

From its inception, CARTA has been hampered by insufficient funding it claimed it required to operate effectively. The transportation service provider explored many avenues to increase funding over the years but no source provided enough to keep CARTA from making substantial reductions in service. CARTA was forced to cease most of its operations in January 2004 and relied on emergency funding from state and federal funding streams to keep it from being liquidated. In early November 2004, a half-cent sales tax referendum was passed (following one instance where it failed and another overturned), providing CARTA with the revenue to relaunch many of the services that were eliminated or consolidated due to insufficient funding. CARTA even added new routes and services throughout their rebuilding phases, as was the case with the launch of CARTA Express in January 2007. On September 1, 2010, CARTA suffered a budget problem which stranded 22,443 passengers during the day and 40,500 passengers during the night.

Despite budgetary setbacks, CARTA ridership continues to increase and become more popular. In 2013, CARTA reported its busiest year of operations, with nearly five million riders for 2012 and a weekday average of over 15,000 riders. DASH service accounted for nearly 1.2 million rides in 2012. In late 2013, CARTA inaugurated its North Area Shuttle service (NASH) as a free circulator route to serve the North Charleston area, however this service was suspended in June 2014 due to low ridership. In February 2014, the NASH Express service was launched, creating an express route between Charleston International Airport and downtown Charleston.

On Sunday, April 15, 2018, CARTA launched the 'Hospitality On Peninsula' (HOP) Shuttle service. The HOP is targeted at workers in the area’s booming hospitality and food-and-beverage industries – though it is open to all commuters – as way to mitigate downtown parking challenges. Operating out of a dedicated Park-and-Ride lot, The HOP shuttle will loop around and run along Meeting Street before it returns to the lot. There are eight HOP-specific stops on the route, each denoted by a white bus stop sign. The cost is $5 to park all day, while The HOP itself is free to use.

Routes

Maps & Schedules
Note: See Holiday Hours to find out if there's bus service running on a route during a holiday.

Local

  • 10 - Rivers Ave.
  • 11 - Dorchester Rd. / Airport
  • 12 - Upper Dorchester / Ashley Phosphate Rd.
  • 13 - Remount Rd.
  • 20 - King St. / Meeting
  • 30 - Savannah Highway
  • 31 - Folly Rd.
  • 32 - North Bridge
  • 33 - Saint Andrews / Ashley River Rd
  • 40 - Mt. Pleasant St.
  • 41 (Mon-Sat) - Coleman Blvd.
  • 42 - Wando Circulator
  • 102 (Mon-Sat) - North Neck
  • 103 (Mon-Sat) - Leeds Ave.
  • 104 (Mon-Sat) - Montague Ave.
  • 203 (Mon-Fri) - Medical Shuttle
  • 204 (Mon-Fri) - MUSC / Calhoun Circulator
  • 301 - Glenn McConnell Connector

Express

  • 1 (Mon-Fri) - North / South Express (North Charleston/James Island)
  • 2 (Mon-Fri) - East West Express (Mt. Pleasant/West Ashley)
  • 3 (Mon-Fri) - Dorchester Rd. / Downtown
  • 4 - NASH Express

DASH Trolley

  • 210 - College of Charleston / Aquarium
  • 211 - Meeting St. / King St.
  • 213 - Lockwood Blvd. / Calhoun St.

HOP Shuttle

  • 7 - HOP Park and Ride Lot / Downtown Loop

Fares

The One-Way fares for CARTA are as follows:

Fixed Route: $2.00 per ride

Express: $3.50 per ride

Transfers: $0.50

Facilities

Administrative Offices

  • Address: 36 John St., Charleston, SC 29403
  • E-mail: askcarta@ridecarta.com
  • Phone: (843) 724-7420

Garage

  • Address: 3664 Leeds Ave., North Charleston, SC 29405

Transit fleet

Current roster

Fleet Number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Destination Sign Notes
1422, 1425, 1427 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 1422-a.jpg 1994 Flxible Metro 'D'
(40102-4D)
Detroit Diesel Series 50 ZF 5HP590 Rollsign
1442-1446 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 1446-a.jpg 2003 NABI 416.14 Detroit Diesel Series 50 EGR ZF 5HP592C Luminator Horizon
3000-3006 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 3004-a.jpg 2016 NFI MD30 Cummins ISB6.7 Allison B300R Hanover Monochrome Used on the DASH routes.
3007-3009 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 3009-a.jpg 2018 ADL Enviro200 Cummins B6.7 Allison B300R Hanover Monochrome
  • Used on the Dash Routes and Express Route 4
  • 3009 wrapped for use on Express Route 4
3010-3012 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 3011-b.jpg 2017 NFI MD30 Cummins ISB6.7 Allison B300R Hanover Monochrome Used on The HOP Shuttle
3400-3435 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 3435-a.jpg 1996 NFI D35HF Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R Hanover Monochrome
  • 22 ACTIVE (As of 1/31/19)
  • 36 passenger, air conditioned.
  • Some buses have on-board Wi-Fi.
  • To be RETIRED and REPLACED by Proterra Catalysts
3500-3510 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 3506-a.jpg 2010 NFI D35LFR Cummins ISL9 ZF 6HP594C Luminator Horizon
  • On-board Wi-Fi
  • Rear-mounted HVAC
3511-3515 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 3513-b.jpg 2011 NFI D35LFR Cummins ISL9 ZF 6HP594C Luminator Horizon
  • Features updated headlights and turn signal arrangements.
  • On-board Wi-Fi.
  • Rooftop-mounted HVAC.
4000-4001 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 4001-a.jpg 2014 NFI XDE40 Cummins ISB6.7 Allison H 40 EP
hybrid system
Luminator Horizon
  • 2013 models.
  • On-board Wi-Fi.
4002-4004 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 4004-a.JPG 2015 NFI XD40 Cummins ISL9 ZF 6AP1400B Hanover Monochrome
  • Suburban configuration.
  • On-board Wi-Fi.
  • Used on Express Routes 1-3.
4005-4020 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 4005-a.png 2018 Gillig Low Floor 40'
(G21D102N4)
Cummins L9 Allison B400R Hanover Monochrome
  • Suburban configuration.
  • On-board Wi-Fi/USB Ports.
  • Used on Express Routes 1-3.
  • Replacing 1400-series Flxible Metro Ds
  • Up to 4019 in service (As of 4/17/19)

On order

Fleet
number(s)
Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
(3 Units) 2019 Proterra Catalyst BE40 or BE35 UQM HD220 Eaton EEV-7202
  • Initial order to begin replacement of the 3400-series coaches
  • Purchased through Federal Grant, awarded August 30, 2018
(1 Unit) 2013 NFI MD30 Cummins ISB6.7 Allison B300R

Retired roster

Fleet Number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
101-113 Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 113-a.JPG 1999 Chance AH-28 Trolley Cummins B5.9 Allison AT-545
  • Used on the DASH routes.
  • Phased out upon arrival of New Flyer MD30s
114-124 2000 Chance AH-28 Trolley Cummins B5.9 Allison AT-545
  • Used on the DASH routes.
  • Phased out upon arrival of New Flyer MD30s
1402-1421, 1423,
1426, 1429-1441
Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority 1423-a.JPG 1994 Flxible Metro 'D'
(40102-4D)
Detroit Diesel Series 50 ZF 5HP590

Low Ridership Fleet

Current Roster

Fleet Number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
(Unknown Amount) 2018 Ford/Champion Champion LF Ford Triton
V10 6.8L
Ford TorqShift®
5R110W

Paratransit fleet (Tel-A-Ride)

Current roster

Fleet Number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
5009-5012 2005 Ford/Goshen E-450/GC II
5018-5020 2016 Ford/Goshen E-450/Impulse

On Order

Fleet Number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
(1 Unit) 2018 Ford/Starcraft E-450/Allstar Ford Triton
V10 6.8L
Ford TorqShift®
5R110W
(1 Unit) 2018 Dodge

ElDorado

Grand Caravan

Amerivan

Chrysler Pentastar
V6 3.6L
Chrysler Ultradrive®
62TE
(2 Units) 2019 Ford/Starcraft E-450/Allstar Ford Triton
V10 6.8L
Ford TorqShift®
5R110W

Retired roster

Fleet Number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
333-334 2006 Ford/Goshen E-450/GC II
342, 344, 347 2009 Chevrolet G3500 GM Vortec V8 6.0L Unknown fleet numbers.
5000 2005 Ford/Goshen E-450/GC II
  • Retired April 2016.
  • VIN: 1FDXE45PX5HA93935.
  • Listed for auction on GovDeals.ca August 2016.

References

External Links