Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Draft Freedom of Information Act Request to BCD COG & CARTA

Towards Transparent Transit in the Lowcountry

Freedom of Information Act Request- June 21, 2018

Update- We have received the following response to our freedom of information act request from Ron Mitchum, dated July 2, 1018.

To           Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments (BCD COG) and Ron Mitchum, Chairman and the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA)

From     William J. Hamilton, III, Attorney at Law and Executive Director of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, Inc.

Re           Freedom of Information Act Request for Transit related and other information

To be served June 21, 2018 on Ron Mitchum, signed copy to be served on designated FOIA Request Compliance Officers for both entities named above.

William J. Hamilton, Personally and as the legal representative of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, Inc. requests that the following materials be made available for public inspection and duplication within the times set out in the SC Freedom of Information Act. This request shall be a continuing one and shall be renewed monthly by repeated and updated notice until such time as notice is served that further production is no longer requested.

If the cost of monthly compliance with this request exceeds fifty dollars, notice of the same is requested prior to production, and any issues arising shall be resolved by negotiation or resort to the courts for injunctive relief.

  1. The BRT Line shall be defined and the alignment proposed and shown in the preferred alternative portion of the I26alt Study and any new or altered proposed location of the line since that time including any system extensions to other parts of Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.
  2. Records shall be defined as any preserved data, documents, correspondence, or images generated, received, or retained by any of the entities named in this request, maintained in any file or data storage system maintained by the parties, or any agent or contractor working for or with them under their direction or control.
The following records and materials are requested.

Ridership data
  1. Monthly and daily ridership totals for the #20 bus line from March 1, 2017 to the date of this notice.
  2. Monthly ridership summaries for all CARTA routes from January 1 2018 to the date of this notice.
  3. Daily totals for ridership on the #7 HOP bus from the start of operations to the date of this notice.
  4. Daily ridership totals for all special bus service operated during the Wando Bridge Emergency for each operating service.

Information on Bus Service to Folly Beach
  1. Planning, ridership and all other records of operation of the “Folly Trolly” during it’s last period of operation including correspondence, publicity materials, ridership data, customer complaints, and responses to customer complaints, correspondence and communications between CARTA, the BCG COG, and the City of Folly Beach regarding the service.
  2. Planning documents, data and all other records produced during and as part of the I26alt study regarding bus service to Folly Beach including citizen input, correspondence with other agencies, businesses, and governments,
  3. Records of all communications between Ron Mitchum, the COG, CARTA, the City of Folly Beach, Mike Seekings, and any other Government or Government agency regarding bus service to Folly Beach produced, generated, or made since January 1, 2018.
Ron Mitchum
Information on CARTA Budget Process
  1. Notice of any meetings or scheduled hearings, including hearings and meetings of governments considering approval of the CARTA budget for the next year. This shall be a continuing demand for notice of all such meetings which may be transmitted to William Hamilton by email at
  2. Documents regarding any proposed changes in CARTA bus service under the new budget or between June 1, 2018 and the end of CARTA’s next budget year including additional service, reduction in service,or changes in service on new or existing routes.
  3. The above said request shall specifically include any requests, demands, or suggestions regarding additional funding sought from or requested from any municipal government whether made in writing, electronically, or by voice conversation. Said response should include the amount and type of bus service under consideration, the cost of such service, the proposed source of such funding, the amount, if any requested from any other government and any budgets, financial records or other documents regarding such service.
  4. Minutes and records of any meeting in which the “Pay Go” plan was considered, including particularly the members of that committee in attendance and the record of motions made and votes taken, a full list of the current and past members of that committee, including their current contact information and the capacity in which they serve on said committee.
Bus Rapid Transit
  1. All records regarding decisions made or being considered regarding the alignment for the planned BRT line South of Mt. Pleasant Street in Charleston including those made in previous COG Transportation Studies since the year 1990. This request includes particularly all communications and plans regarding transit being included in or excluded from the “Lowline Park” project or former railroad line running from Mt. Pleasant Street to Spring Street in the City of Charleston.
  2. In particular, all records are requested regarding the decision to place the planned bus rapid transit line on Meeting Street between Mt. Pleasant Street and Line and/or Spring Street.
  3. All records regarding plans for BRT funding, alignment, operations, or construction in Dorchester County including correspondence with governments in Dorchester County and the Town of Summerville.
  4. A copy of the contract(s) and/or drafts for contract(s) in progress currently being written between CARTA and the engineering firm(s) retained to plan or otherwise work on planning and/or construction of the BRT line.
  5. Any documents pertaining to pedestrian safety and the planned BRT line, including any documents regarding pedestrian access to stations by elevated walkway or by grade crossing.
  6. Any documents regarding real estate development projects being planned with the cooperation of the COG or CARTA along or within a mile of either side of the planned BRT line.
Service Changes or Reductions
  1. Any and all records related to any proposed changes in CARTA or Tri County Link bus service now under consideration by CARTA or the BCD COG.

Status of FOIA Request

June, 20, 2018- Copies of this request were given to each member attending the Thursday, June 21 CARTA Board Meeting. A signed copy will be formally served on the designated agents for FOIA requests for the targeted organizations on Monday, June 24.

1 comment:

  1. THE PEOPLE OF CHARLESTON NEED TO KNOW THIS INFORMATION! I AGREE WITH THIS F.O.I. request and im looking forward to reading about those numbers. our transportaion system is a JOKE and the BUDGET AND these meetings are just to behind closed doors.. more people need to know. ALSO that HOP BUS is SO FULL OF MISS INFORMATION.. on the PHAMPLET IT DOES NOT SAY THAT THE BUS IS FREE TO RIDE.. NO WHERE ON THE PHAMPLET>>> every one i ask about the HOP they think it cost $5 dollars to ride... when to RIDE is FREE but to PARK is $5... why could they of not made this information more CLEAR on the phamplet... why did they make it were it looks like it cost $5 to ride... their are SO MANY PEOPLE WHO I ASK and MOST THINK ITS $5 or they are confused... ALSO THOSE PEOPLE THINK THAT THEY HAVE TO WORK IN FOOD AND BEVERAGE AND SHOW SOME KINDA PROOF TO RIDE THE BUS>>> COME ONE!!! some one needs to fix this... Let me know when i can voice this to the people incharge of this...
    ALSO... the NUMBER 20 BUS NEEDS TO HAVE WRTTEN ON THE BUS OR ON THE SIGN ON TOP OF THE BUS THAT THE BUS IS FREE>>>>> IT SEEMS PEOPLE THINK THAT THE NUMBER 20 bus is $2.00 .... JUST CHANGE THE SIGN ON THE TOP TO FREE or JUST PUT A MAGNETTIC SIGN ON THE BUS THAT SAYS FREE TO RIDE>>>>>>> thanks MR. Hamilton for all your hard work and dedication and i cant wait for the Bus system to catch up and actually serve the people of charleston VERSUS confuse them and WASTE MONEY!!!! -Derek