Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Evacuation Bus Service

Charleston County operates a Hurricane Evacuation Bus System.

The system uses yellow school buses which may be labeled Charleston County Schools or Durham Student services. They run to specially marked stops around Charleston County. These buses bring people to emergency hurricane shelters. 

Shelters are now concentrated on high ground, inland in N. Charleston and Ladson.

List of Stops - Some of the stops have been relocated and improved since last year. You can find a list of them starting on page 23 of this PDF.

Disabled Persons - Page 26 of this document has contact numbers of disabled persons or other persons with special needs who cannot reach the Hurricane Evacuation Bus System.  "If you are disabled and cannot get to the nearest evacuation pick-up point: Contact the Charleston County Emergency Public Information Line at (843) 746-3900, and a vehicle will be dispatched to transport you to the nearest available shelter."

Animals and Pets- "If you have an animal to evacuate with you and you do not have transportation: Contact the Charleston County Emergency Public Information Line at (843) 746-3900, and a vehicle will be dispatched to transport you and your pet(s) to the evacuation animal shelter. Bring all supplies needed for your pet: crate, collar, leash, food, identification, veterinarian/immunization records, etc.

The nearest Hurricane Evacuation Bus Stop to the Mary Street Transit Center downtown is locations at bus shelter on the sidewalk on Meeting Street in front of Courtney School near the Mary Street on the East Side.

Signs for the stops look like this.  Transportation on the buses is free. People who rode the buses and stayed at the shelter last year had a hard time connecting with the buses. Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit made an issue out of this and published our thoughts on how they system could be improved, which appear to have been implemented in part.

Here is an image of a Hurricane Evacuation Bus in operation last year.  Buses may not always stop right by the sign so keep a look out and wear bright colors. The drivers try hard to find everyone.

We continue to believe that as many of these stops as possible should be co located with major CARTA bus stops on major regular bus routes. We also believe that finding locations with rain shelter and lighting for these stops should be a priority. The system didn't work well last year, but people speaking out (see video) has made a difference since. There has been improvement in this area in the past year, however as usual getting different government agencies to coordinate their activities here remains a struggle.

Half of the Lowcountry Population doesn't have a driver's license and the obsession with private automobiles during hurricane evacuation continues to leave government with a blind spot. However the people running the shelters and the buses were trying very hard last year. If your area has to evacuate, heat out as early as you can, wear bright colors and if you see a bus wave and try to get their attention.

1 comment:

  1. Ladson and N Charleston "shelters" may be isolated from transit and grocery stores and medical facilities people should not be kept away from OTHERWISE shelters must provide such needs from such places.... AND SERVICE ANIMALS whether "pets" or not MUST NOT BE LEFT BEHIND TO DROWN OR LACK SAFE LIVING QUARTERS, FOOD AND WATER WHILE SEPARATED FROM THEIR HUMAN COMPANIONS/handlers.....not to mention separated from litter box cleaners and dog dropping urine places