Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lincolnville to the Sea

Lincolnville to the Sea with a side trip on Columbia's Electric Soda Cap Connector

We’re pushing for better transit in two directions this summer. We want to stretch CARTA service from Lincolnville to the Ocean with the money available to do that now. It can be done with your help starting with Wednesday’s BCD COG Planning meeting. We’re also going to take road trip Friday to ride the Electric Soda Cap Connector in Columbia.

The Tri County Transit Equity Coalition voted to ask CARTA to extend the existing #10 bus route from its current terminus at Health South on Highway 78, East of I26 6 miles to the Charleston County line on Highway 78. This adds service for the Exchange Park Fairgrounds at Ladson, the massive Coastal Carolina Flea Market Complex which houses hundreds of small businesses including enterprises doing alterations, computer repairs, sell phone service and many other businesses you would be surprised to find there.  It would serve the booming community of Ladson and the massive Sangaree development, which while in Berkeley County would still provide riders and fare revenue for the extended route.  It would connect to Lincolnville with a terminal loop stopping in that community and reaching several large, new multifamily developments in that area. While the route wouldn’t go into Dorchester County, stops on 78 and in Lincolnville would accommodate “kiss riders” being dropped off and picked up by family. It’s currently a 12-dollar uber ride to the nearest full-time bus service in these areas. The Tri county link service in the area is part time and isn’t reflected in the now widely adopted online transit tracking services like Google Transit, Swifty and the Transit app.

The BCD Cog is holding a transit planning meeting on Wednesday, June 6 in this area at Charleston Southern University on future transit plans. Please attend if you are in the area and inform them that you want the ExTENded 10 Route to Ladson & Lincolnville running starting this fall using the money already available from the half penny sales tax people in this area already pay.

Friday at 8 am, we’re car pooling to Columbia to participate in the press event for a demonstration of a SC made Pro Terra battery electric bus which will do demonstration runs on the Soda Cap Connector route. We’ll also meet members of the Midlands Transit Rider Assn. We’ll leave the CARTA bus stop at Grove Street and King at 8 am and be back in Charleston by 4 pm. You can sign up on Facebook. We’ll take as many people if we can. If you do have a car, bring it. If you don’t, be prepared to chip in for a tank of gas. Full details and updates in that Facebook event listing.

On the other end, we’re going to continue our push for service to the beaches through the summer with an emphasis on Folly.  We’ll be making our application to hold our second Bastille Day at the Beach on Tuesday, June 12 at 7 pm before Folly Beach Town Council.  While hundreds of working people who have jobs at the beach need transit and their employers, who can’t keep full staffs due to travel and parking issues want bus service, entrenched racial and social prejudices still stand in the way, even at the “Edge of America.”  Please join us as we make our presentation to Folly Beach City Council which has the tough job of dealing with the many conflicting forces which fight over our beaches, mostly problems caused by cars. The meeting starts at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 12. Afterwards, win or lose, we’re going to have dinner on folly and maybe collect some sea water to take to our friends in Lincolnville because we’ve promised them the ocean.

In the past two weeks, our increasingly effective mobilization for better transit has hit major resistance from the established powers in the Charleston area. It’s been irritating. On the Chamber of Commerce lockout last Thursday, where Executive Director William Hamilton (legally blind, disabled) and Skyelynn (Food and beverage worker, transit rider) were denied admittance to a meeting on the BRT held at N. Charleston City Hall, it was humiliating, even for battle hardened activists.  Upon arrival, we were informed that 4 or our 5 RSVPS for this public meeting would not be honored due to a “mistake.” This is normal for this phase of a campaign for better transit and is typical of what is happening around the country now. We’re prepared for it and we’re in communication with our National support organizations sharing strategies and tactics as the struggle to bring freedom of movement to everyone continues in a deeply conflicted America.

Louise Brown did get into the meeting. She’s a 50-year veteran of the fight for social justice. She stopped tanks in the streets of Charleston 50 years ago in the MUSC hospital strike. That day, she was signing, “we shall not be moved. Now she’s saying, “Together, we go forward!”
Thanks for taking the ride with us.

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