Friday, November 22, 2019

Join us at COG Transit Oriented Development Meetings Dec. 10-12


This page is in development- Please return for updates 

Join members of Best Friends of Low country Transit and our new Dorchester Unit to participate in the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments public participation session on planning Transit Oriented Development (TOD) along our future rapid transit line.

There will be three meetings, Dec. 10, 11 & 12

Summerville, Lincolnville, Ridgeville & Dorchester
Tues. Dec. 10, 6 to 8 pm Facebook Signup
Alston-Baily Elementary School
820 W 5th N St, Summerville, SC 29483 
Summerville Contact, Linday Saylor- 
6:00 pm– Presentation
6:30 to 8:00 pm Interactive Placemaking and Visioning
Special Note- 8:00 pm– Join our Independent After Discussion and Dutch Treat Dinner Nearby
If you live in these areas and want better transit, contact Linda Saylor, our Dorchester Summerville organizer. 

North Charleston
December 11, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Facebook signup for this meeting
North Charleston Transit Center
4565 Gaynor Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405
(Accessible via CARTA routes 10 & 104)
Presentations on LCRT & TOD will start at 6:00 p.m.
with interactive and visioning exercises from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Charleston - Downtown
December 12, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Facebook Signup for this meeting.
Citadel Alumni Center
69 Hagood Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
(Accessible via CARTA routes 102 & 213)
Presentations on LCRT & TOD will start at 6:00 p.m.
with interactive and visioning exercises from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

TOD allows communities to plan and build places along a transit line which are walkable and connected by transit so using a car is optional. This opens up options for people who are elderly, disabled, do not or cannot drive a car. It’s important for such communities to be safe and include affordable housing.

Even if you don’t ride transit or live in a TOD community, you benefit from reduced traffic congestion as your neighbors choose a home and lifestyle which reduces their need for car travel.
It’s about choice, particularly for senior citizens and the disabled, who can enjoy independent living without relying on loved ones or expensive ride sharing services to remain independent.
Transit Oriented Planning  in Lincolnville

Background Information on TOD:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Best Friends Demand Transit First, Eight Lane Gridlock Later


Transit First, Eight Lane Gridlock Later

Our Plan Your Transit Map used in schools
Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit will oppose construction of any part of an extended or enlarged I526 until the long promised, planned and voter approved bus rapidtransit line connecting Summerville, Lincolnville, Ladson, N. Charleston, the Neck and Charleston is constructed and operating.

Notice of this opposition will be delivered to James Mattox, Project Manager for the SC Dpt. Of Transpiration on Thursday, Nov. 21 at their West 526 Corridor Community meeting at the Charleston Area Convention Center by a delegation of advocates.  The visit will be webcast live on Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit’s Facebook Page and announced shortly before it begins to local media by email and on the groups Facebook page and Twitter feed. You can signup to participate as a Trans Ant on Facebook. Visits by our swarm of Trans Ants start at noon. 

A printable broadside to share or present to the DOT with this content is available for download now. 

If Charleston County, the BCD Cog and SC Department of Transpiration act now, assuming some useful work has been accomplished under the 4.7 million dollar study and design contract signed with HDR over a year ago, this should result in no delay to work on the interstate. The BCD COG has spent over seven million dollars on planning and study for a rapid transit line between Summerville and Charleston over the past 20 years.  Every drainage tunnel, curb cut and intersection has been mapped. Work on the BRT line could easily be completed now with no delay to the Interstate project. A detailed proposal for the BRT was included in the COG’s 2015, half million dollars, I26alt study. While the study is no longer available through its original web location, we’ve archived the preferred alternative plan for the BRT at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P6iqS3cSpbYDMXKfZTnPr7u3FEGusZRlCusYMGCiGMF5aEmckRO5kBgFV0Hqrc8arlaRWarVbw1VHVEW/view?usp=sharing

Success and Failure in the Lowcountry's Future

Making Calls for the 2016 referendum
The Bus Rapid Transit line will increase the quality of life for people living near it in the Lowcountry, including the half of the population which does not have a driver’s license, in particular the young, the elderly, the disabled and the working poor for which the interstate will be little more than an obstacle. The transit line will create a twenty five mile long region, approximately two miles wide in which the automobile will become optional for residents. The result will be a chain of connected communities which are safer, quieter and more mobile at a lower cost to the community and the environment.

Enlarging I526 into an eight lane monster roadway will degrade the quality of life throughout the region. Over 100 families will lose their homes. The amount of pollutants, including gasoline and diesel exhaust and tire particles in areas around the enlarged and extended road will increase. New development spawned by the road will increase flooding and drainage problems, particularly West of the Ashley. Traffic throughout the area will increase. The expectation of and later the creation of additional road capacity will induce increases in automobile travel and development. A few years after these Interstate projects are finished at a cost of over 2 billion dollars, traffic in the Lowcountry will be worse and slower than it is now. The new road capacity will stimulate more traffic than it can move at the current level of service, both on the new roads themselves and on surrounding roadways which can’t be expanded.

This has been the result of nearly every major urban connected road project in the United States over the past 50 years. The construction of the original I526 thirty years ago certainly didn’t solve our traffic problems in the Lowcountry. The Two billin dollars expansion of 26 lane wide Katy Parkway in Houston, Texas ended with longer commute times than the road had before construction started. “Houston’s official traffic monitoring agency (found) . . . that travel times increased by 30 percent during the morning commute and 55 percent during the evening commute between 2011 and 2014.” https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/09/citylab-university-induced-demand/569455/ When a hurricane threatened Houston, congestion had become so hopeless evacuation was impossible. Elderly citizens were forced to shelter in place, wading through retirement communities knee deep in sewage contaminated water.

Dana Beach, founder of the SC Coastal Conservation League has already warned the Lowcountry that the I526 expansion will produce more traffic and congestion. https://bfltransit.blogspot.com/2019/11/lets-not-level-up-or-sprawl-billion.html  Beach has also commented on our lack of progress on our planned transit line in this controversial Quintin's Closups Video

Transportation, Equity and Democracy

Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit recognizes that the decision to enlarge I526 is the result of the same democratic process which approved the transit system. We don’t believe it is our prerogative to prevent the community from making the same mistake Houston did. However the secretly approved “pay go” plan adopted after the referendum violates  commitments made to devote 600 million dollars of the referendum proceeds to transit improvements. “Pay Go” has already robbed local transit of over 25 million dollars in needed improvements to basic bus service on CARTA and LINK routes in Charleston County. The Pay Go plan has also resulted in every increasing delays to the Bus Rapid Transit project as money which might be building Rapid Transit is turned into an interest free loan fund for road projects. Over a billion and a half half penny sales tax dollars are available to pay for more roads from the half penny sales tax, in addition to funding from an increased gas tax and federal matching fund.

At least five billion dollars will be spent on road construction in Charleston County over the next decade. Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit and our supporters merely ask that the small amount of funds devoted to something which can actually work and produce a higher quality of life (particularly for those most oppressed by a landscape dominated by the car and traffic} be spent as it was promised.

Indianapolis completed work on its red line BRT in in two years and ten months, approved by voters the same day Charleston county voters approved our Bus Rapid transit project. It currently carries seven thousand riders a day. Planning, construction and the start of operations of the Pulse line in Richmond, VA took less than four years. Operations there started on June, 24, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRTC_Pulse#History. Worldwide, construction of BRT type systems seldom take more than four years.

We can build the Bus Rapid Transit system and improve regular bus service as was promised before the 2016 referendum. If we begin now, no significant delay in the effort to build the massive roadway which is sure to fail will be necessary. Later, the Lowcountry can discover if it will be the first community in the United States, of hundreds, that somehow managed to expand an urban highway without making traffic and congestion worse.

For more information contact:

William J. Hamilton, III
Executive Director,
Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit
171 Church St. Ste. 160
Charleston, SC 29401
wjhamilton29464@gmail.com
(843) 870-5299


Monday, November 18, 2019

Bus Stops for Riverland Drive and Central Park Road on James Island

Bus Stops for Riverland Drive and Central Park Road on James Island

Tri County Link Route through James Is.
Despite service reductions on Riverland Drive South of this intersection, this area continues to have very active bus service.  Tri County Link operates six runs a day from Johns Island to the City on weekdays, stopping in both directions in this area (see route at right). CARTA Continues to operate 11 runs a day on Weekdays and 9 Saturdays and 8 Sunday, servicing the area with the Folly Road bus only on the Southbound, outbound service towards Sol Legare Road. (See CARTA route below) For our area, this is fairly frequent bus service. Six runs towards Charleston are available between 5:00 pm and the end of bus service for the day, connecting at the James Island Walmart parking lot with service on the Folly Road and #1 Express to Charleston.

Some sort of a transit hub is needed for James Island near that location on Folly Road.
All buses in the area operate on both Central Park and Riverland Drive (North of the Intersection) so the placement of stops can be flexible, provided the pedestrian crossing is a safe one. Stops should be placed close to the intersection since foot traffic will be traveling to the area from the South on Riverland Drive, but placement is somewhat flexible.

Folly Rd. CARTA Route
If tree free space for bus pullouts isn’t available, ordinary stops with shelters or benches would be sufficient at this location. The stop on the West Side of Riverland or the South Side of Central park would be the most important and busiest one since both the LINK and CARTA bus stop traveling in that direction, South on Riverland and East on Central Park. The standard new bus shelter recently adopted by CARTA with solar lighting would work fine at this location, they’re compact and work well in limited space.

Based on our visits to the community, there is a lot of confusion about where the available bus services go. There is very little awareness of the now available electronic wayfinding available on Smart Phones and the internet.

After a full year of involvement with this seemingly unending community fight over the design of this intersection, including a full door to door canvass of the surrounding area and attending five meetings, we recognize the markings of failure which must arise from a community fixated on cars and traffic. Democracy doesn't work. Citizenship doesn't work. Government doesn't work.

James Is. Bus Stop on Folly Road, Walmart
Watching a community trying to solve traffic that is unable or unwilling to recognized the car as the problem is wasteful and sad. Only the realization that hundreds of people living in this area depend on or would like to ride transit motivates us to continue our involvement. Nothing can save a community obsessed with the desire to move cars quickly to the exclusion of every other value except preserving the trees they experience only in passing through a car window. The absurd faith that I526 will solve the island's problems is even sadder. This area is fated to the same destiny as every other Interstate access in America, congested traffic, highway style development and a decline in community values. Nothing in this process indicates anyone involved really understands James Island's problems, which arise from and cannot be solved by building more and wider roads. 25 years after the James Island Connector opened, nothing has been learned because nobody wants to think about anything but ways to move more cars faster.

That is why people on James Island continue to die in the unending sequence of car wrecks, cyclists killings and pedestrian run downs.

We believe a modestly scaled effort with some community support, utilizing safe, comfortable stops would yield increased transit ridership in this area. We’re already working to build ridership on Johns Island on the Link Route which runs through this intersection. 12 times a day.

We take no position on which intersection design needs to be adopted. We do however point out that this is a classic example of how autocentric long term planning divides our communities. We know transit brings communities together as properly placed bus stops will do here.

William Hamilton
Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit
(843) 870-5299 or wjhamilton29464@gmail.com
March 13, 2019


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Let's Not Level Up on Sprawl- The Billion Dollar 526 Mistake



You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” Albert Einstein. 




The announced plans to destroy over 111 homes building a monster sized eight lane I526 from N. Charleston to West Ashley to solve the congestion caused by 50 years of unconsidered development and road building, is a billion dollar attempt to solve a problem by applying the methods and values which caused it. It is the logic a crack addict uses when he sells his wife's wedding ring at the pawn shop to solve what appears to him to be the most important problem in the world, getting more crack.  

Dana Beach, founder of the SC Coastal Conservation League, responded to our email about the plans to turn the western end of I526 through N. Charleston and West Ashley into an eight lane, sprawl inducing monster roadway with these thoughts.

The SC Dpt. of Transportation had announced a series of meetings, workshops and opened a temporary, local office to support planning for this terrifying project. Read the P&C Article listing these events from now to Nov. 19, 1.1 Billion Dollar Interstate plan. (There is no possible way they can build the roads planned for that amount of money, the actual sum has to be hundreds of millions of dollars higher. We'll be protesting our community's apparent incapacity to plan for the needs of people instead of cars on Nov. 29 (Black Friday) with a demonstration against building a suburban style gas station on land promised for a walkable, multiuse community on our new transit line with affordable housing: Spinx, Let Our People Go and Live on the Promised Line!

Dana Beach (image below) responded to our questions with these thoughts.

Dana Beach
Design your own transit system for the Lowcountry
Bus, Bike and Cars impacts on road use

“I looked this famous quote up on the Internet.  (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.) Albert Einstein apparently did not say it. It was actually used in an even more appropriate setting, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

This behavior is a verifiably delusional and addictive form of behavior.  It is a particularly expensive form of addiction, not to mention particularly destructive, as the impact of these neighborhoods illustrates.

There is no way we can build our region out of traffic congestion by adding more asphalt, especially in the form of these mega projects that benefit only road contractors.

It is telling that a regional bus rapid transit system will cost less than 1/5 the price of this single “intersection improvement.“

Image, Right, our plan your transit big map activity invites young people and students to paln a transit enabled Lowcountry. We're happy to bring it to your school, church or civic organisation.

Oh, and did I mention that the bus rapid transit system will actually serve people who live in these neighborhoods and may not be able to afford a car to sit in gridlock on the newly expanded interstate?

And did I mention that a bus rapid transit system will prevent the emission of hundreds of millions of pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby damping temperature increases?

Which brings me to another use of these billions of dollars: flooding. We have 13% of the total flood abatement funds needed just for the city of Charleston, not to mention Mount Pleasant and North Charleston.

Which brings me back to the bus rapid transit system. It is funded, unlike the rest of the both critical and wasteful initiatives. And yet, the county is dragging its feet and potentially dragging implementation out for a decade, despite the fact that cities is like Indianapolis have been able to get these projects up and running in 2 to 3 years.

Which brings us back to that point Albert Einstein did not make: doing the same thing over and over again, knowing we are doing the same thing over and over again, and blissfully hoping for and expecting a different outcome.

I can only hope (based in this case on some evidence) that with our newly elected city council, sanity will re-emerge."

You can also hear Beach's thoughts on the BRT and local politics in this Quentin's Closeups  Video, starting at 11:46

To Get Involved

If you would like to work with Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit on this issue please contact William J. Hamilton, III, (843) 870-5299 or email wjhamilton29464@gmail.com

Friday, November 8, 2019

Black Friday- Spinx Let Our People Go for Climate Strike

Spinx! Let Our People Go and Live on the Promised Line!

Read a plan for Transit Oriented Development of this location which still allows a gas station, convenience store while also including affordable housing and opportunities for community oriented business opportunities. McMillan Making Money Sustainability.

Best Friends will announce a demonstration, to in front of the existing Spinx gas stations on Rivers Ave. on Black Friday as part of the Global Climate Strike, phase II. The demonstration will have an Egyptian / Old Testament Theme with Ten Commandments for community planning along our future Rapid Transit Line. There will be a demand to let Our People Go to live on the Promised Line. The river of traffic will be parted so that people can reach the demonstration site from the bus stop across busy, and dangerous, rivers ave. As Moses once bid Pharaoh to make cities without bricks, we will remind Spinx that we build cities with people, not cars.


This demonstration is part of the second phase of the #ClimateStrike!

The Mystery of this Spinx

Spinx plans to build a suburban style gas station and convenience store on the SW corner of Rivers and McMillan Ave., about two miles south of the demonstration location.
A transit enabled landscape for people centered around the Intersection of Rivers and McMillian Avenues, near the old Navy hospital in N. Charleston should be the centerpiece of the twenty five mile long linear community which will grow up along the Lowcountry’s planned Rapid Transit line. The demand for approval by the Sphinx gas station company for a three acre, suburban style gas station and convenience store is inappropriate and an insult to a community which has suffered a generation of neglect and abuse since the Navy Base shut down. The plan is redundant, with an Exxon gas station already standing across that same intersection. It is exploitative and provides no opportunity for affordable housing, high quality employment or civic or cultural use. It is wasteful, being a one story suburban facility sprawling across an absurd amount of ground which is centrally located on high ground in the middle of our new transit line. It will stand in the most notorious food desert in the region.
It is difficult to imagine a worse use for this much irreplaceable land. To aggravate matters, Spinx is alleged to have requested that the planned transit station across the street be relocated. For a company selling a product to drivers on the verge of mass conversion to electric vehicles like the ones Volvo is planning to build in nearby Ridgeville is equivalent to tearing down an Airport in 1925 to build a buggy whip factory.

Join the Host

Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit is currently partnering with other groups both for the City Council presentation on Nov. 14 and the planned December demonstration. For more information contact William J. Hamilton, III, Executive Director, (843) 870-5299, (843) 577-5232 or wjhamilton29464@gmail.com. A facebook signup for the Nov. 14 appearance at North Charleston City Council is now online at https://www.facebook.com/events/440173266688006/

We'll have a Moses and a Pharaoh. You can choose to participate as a Hebrew or walk like an Egyptian. Don't sweat the details too hard, we're doing the movie, not real history or the Bible. You can also just come in regular clothes.

We are however, embarking on our journey to the promised land, a walk able, transit enabled community or diversity and opportunity where the car is optional and the future is sustainable. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Runoff for Rapid Transit in Charleston- Choose the Faster Mayor

Image, right, the signatures of both candidates appear on the community commitment to transit signed three years ago.

Note- You can now download a printable flyer of this content similar to the one being handed out in Charleston.  This blog contains the same content, but with hyperlinks to detailed background. Please consider the issues carefully and vote for the candidate of your choice on Nov. 19. Don't forget about the City Council Dist. Runoff race if you live in that part of the city. These issues apply there. 

The two men competing to become the next Mayor of Charleston in the Nov. 19th. runoff have both has exceptional influence over the quality and future of our transit service. Both have served on the CARTA board. Mayor Tecklenberg appoints three members to the CARTA Board. Councilman Seekings has served as CARTA board Chairman for over three years. Both men are active in the planning process of planning our inexcusably delayed and long promised Lowcountry Bus Rapid Transit line that’s start date is currently threatening to slip back another year to 2026, ten years after voter approval.

Indianapolis voted to build their Bus rapid transit system the same day Charleston County did in November 2016. The Indianapolis red line began running in September 2019, two years and ten months after voter approval and currently carries over 7 thousand riders a day. The ten years the BCD Council of Governments claims it needs to built a bus rapid transit line is over twice the amount of time needed to build a BRT type system anywhere on Earth in the history of the world. With costs rising over a million dollars a month, these delays of endless, repetitive planning that’s beginning now receded twenty years into the past cannot be reconciled with a good faith effort to get the job done.

Four Critical Transit Questions for Charleston's Next Mayor


Please ask the men who want to be the next Mayor of Charleston these four questions. They already know the answers to these questions. The only question is will they provide an honest response and commit to a responsible role in the process for the power they seek to hold.

  1. Will you commit to having the Bus Rapid Transit line between Summerville and Charleston completed during your next term of office and to commence operations on or before November 1, 2023?  Overview of the Bus Rapid Transit line project.
  2. Will you commit to run the rapid transit line into the City of Charleston on the old CSX rail line beneath I26 as part of the Lowline project between Mt. Pleasant Street and Line Street instead of attempting to operate rapid transit in the congested traffic of meeting street?
  3. Will you reject and repeal the secretly approved “Pay Go Plan” which has diverted over 25 million dollars in funding to improve regular CARTA and LINK Bus service in Charleston in Charleston County into an interest free loan fund for suburban road construction and to implement the bus route service frequency  improvements called for by the Charleston Area Justice Ministry in their 2019 Nehemiah Action?
  4. Will you commit to funding an effort by public and private partners to increase transit ridership in the City of Charleston by not less than 20% before the end of your next term and hold the persons responsible accountable for their performance  in that effort by publication of details of their efforts and route ridership figures? Stop the decline in our quality of life caused by rising congestion. 
Image,
right, Mary Smith, costumed at Syphide the Spirit of Motion. She died last month due to health problems aggravated by inadequate transit services after eight years of working for better transit. On occasions she waited in the rain for overdue buses at unsheltered stops getting soaking wet, while the inside of her body felt like it was on fire.

Demand Answers, Vote

Voting in this year’s municipal elections was anemic. It reflects a lack of public interest and confidence in the democratic process. While failure in city planning, education and traffic may be accepted, Best Friends does not accept or enable failure in the area of transit. We seen third world countries like Bangladesh and Ethiopia enjoying superior transit service to what we have in the Lowcountry. They can take a bus to the beach, while the ocean remains inaccessible to local workers who depend on the bus. This runoff is the time to make the impact of the transit rider vote felt in the holy city.




Ask Seekings and Tecklenberg to answer these questions. Let us know what they say. Make your choice. If you live in the Council District with a runoff between Candidates Lewis and Sakran, pleae ask them these questions as well.

Contact Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, Inc. 

You can support our work by making a tax deductible contribution through Act Blue.

William Hamilton, Executive Director, Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, Inc.
171 Church Str. Ste. 160, Charleston, SC 29401 c (843) 870-5299, (843) 577-5231, wjhamilton29464@gmail.com


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Help Mt. Pleasant Town Council Candidates become Transit Aware

We were deeply disturbed by the lack of basic understanding of local transit issues we observed at the Oct. 23 Candidates forum for Mt. Pleasant Town Council. We are acting now to bring the community into active involvement to motivate the candidates to become informed. We need your help to make this work.

Pathetic Mt. Pleasant Answers Cause Alarm

Audience at Forum, Oct. 23
Watch the pathetic answers offered to the sole Transit question presented at the forum, "Would they support getting the Bus Rapid Transit line to run no later than December 2023?"  You can hear and most of the forum video at https://www.facebook.com/LWVCharleston/videos/407443876855289/, however the stream appears to have failed before Louise Brown successfully demanded they ask a Transit Question. Several questions are asked regarding traffic and climate change in which in over 15 minutes of discussion, Transit is never mentioned in the video we do have.  One candidate suggested the Town establish a bus service to take workers dontown to jobs at MUSC, an express bus service that has been running for 12 years, the #2 Express. Another suggested a circular shuttle route similar to the Mt. Pleasant local which was cancelled in Spring 2001 or the East Cooper Connector, which had overwhealming reliabilty problems and was cancelled about 2014 and once served the very Senior Citizens Center the forum was held at but never had a bench, shelter or safe walker and wheelchair accessable access from and two the building. Not one candidate mentioned Tel-A-Ride, our paratransit service used by the elderly at an event held for Senior Citizens that several of those in attendance used to reach the event. It was a horror show of clueless disinterest that disgusted Louise Brown. She share her thoughts with William Hamilton and the Staff at Joe Cunningham's, our congressman's office at our visit following the forum.

This lack of knowledge of transit is remarkable in a  town where one of our largest employers, Hubner supplies bus articulations to transit vehicle manufacturers around the world.

Image, Left- Developer Provided Bus Stop in Mount Pleasant.

Without improved transit, Mt. Pleasant will simply become impossible to travel around in as West Ashley and Summerville have already become for several periods of time each week. The only long term solution is high capacity BRT on segregated lanes linking dense, transit enabled hubs, supported by a strong last mile shuttle service and connecting service to the beach. They will either recognize this now, as the people on the town's master planning committee have or someone will figure it out some time after the afternoon the traffic stops moving for three hours.  Mistakes like the horrific location of the new Football Stadium only reenforce the autocentric values which will doom the town to failure. To do this as the town's population of elderly people who can't drive continues to increase is clueless and cruel.

A Plan to Go Forward

After what we saw today, the struggling Town of Lincolnville and little Ridgeville look a lot better. As busy as we are, we can't leave Mt. Pleasant where it is. Together, We Go Forward.

Call Them Now- We're asking our East Cooper Supporters, including those outside the Town of Mt. Pleasant who use the bus lines there to call the candidates with their concerns and ideas about transit. It was clear at the forum that most of these candidates believe our buses are empty and that you, do not, in fact. actually exist.  This web page lists their contact information, phone numbers and emails.

Guided Bus Ride Oct. 29- We're offering every candidate for Mt. Pleasant Town Council at guided bus ride beginning at Wando Crossing Shopping Center on Tuesday,  Oct. 29 at 7:15 am and returning to Mt. Pleasant on the #40, arriving back at Wando Crossing at 9:03. Candidates should bring bus fare of $3.50, exact change. We'll be calling into a talk radio station and live streaming from downtown during the ride. If a candidate wants to ride sooner, we're ready tomorrow. Just call (843) 870-5299.

Experts- We're offering these candidates access to our panel of independent transit experts. They can  also contact the Council of Governments, which has already spent 7 million dollars planning the rapid transit line over the past 25 years. Their I26 alt plan treats East Cooper Bus service extensively.

Updated Transit Materials and Questions were handed to all of the candidate's at today's forum. You can read our annotated questions for muncipal election candidates online. We'll be asking for answers to those questions at the Moultrie News Election Forum next week. We've sent a copy of the questions and Christian King's, candidate for Charleston City Council's answers to them to the Moultrie News which is preparing the questions for the forum.

Answers- We'll publish any written answers to our Transit questions or link to any answers posted online from our Blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds.

We'll attend next week's Moultrie News forum on Tuesday evening. It's not on a bus route and as a usual policy we would refuse to attend, but the problem here is so extreme, we're going to make an exception. We'll Uber to the forum from the #40 bus stop at Oakland Marketplace. We'll provide and RSVP signup and an opportunity to donate towards the cost.  We'll have "Transit Voter" stickers for all our supporters in attendance.

We'll be traveling out to the Forum on the #40 and #42 buses and returning home by Uber and the #40 bus (The bus out to the Wando Library stops running at 6:30. We depart Mary Street downtown at 4:30 and arrive at the forum location at 5:47. Signup up on eventbright online for paid bus tickets and Uber fees. We'll be wearing our yellow shirts, but if you don't have one, try for the shade of yellow on the tranist voter sticker above, close or just yellow will be fine.

A Proud History of Achievement now in Disarray, How Quickly a Community Can Forget Transit

Our organization began as Hungryneck Straphangers in Mt. Pleasant and the East Cooper area and made remarkable progress between 2009 and 2016 in that area. We increased transit ridership to 308% of its 2007 level. We persuaded the town to install benches at bus stops and inspired them to begin requiring developers to build bus stops as part of their development agreements like the one at right. We pioneered transit outreach in conservative Southern suburbs in ways national experts told us noone had every tried and achieved results we were told were impossible before we started. Our East Cooper effort, supported by Mayor Linda Page, laid the foundation for passage of the Half Penny Sales tax and funding of the first Rapid Transit system in the history of the state. The restoration of bus service in Columbia began with a hail Mary jump on the candidate at breakfast effort we executed at a political convention where the candidate for the Mayor of Columbia found himself surrounded by people in tranist union provided "Don't Cut Transit T-shirts."

We knew there was a real risk of losing ground on suburban and rural bus when we chose to concentrate on trying to force progress on the bus rapid transit line a year ago.  However, we recognized that without an actual rapid transit spine a system slowly strangled by rising traffic congestion was the likely outcome. That's why we're in Ridgville, Dorchester County and Summerville now. Ridgeville, you'll be happy to know is a $45 Uber ride from Mt. Pleasant but it was worth it. We met 3rd graders who know more and care more about transit and what it can do for their community at Clay Hill Elementary School up there (See image left) than some of the candidates at this forum. They were certainly more fun.

We believe if they are properly motivated by the need to earn votes from Mt. Pleasant Transit supporters that progress can be made. We appreciate your support.

If you have any questions or ideas please email or call: wjhamilton29464@gmail.com or (843) 870-5299.

Thank you for your help, together we go forward.