Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Rapid Transit Summerville to Charleston Progress is Possible

The Lowcountry can have real, rapid transit linking Charleston, the Neck, North Charleston, Ladson, Lincolnville, Sangaree and Summerville. 250 million dollars to pay for it has already been raised through the half penny sales tax referendum in Nov. 2016, which Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit helped win. Planning for the system is proceeding now and needs more public input. The current estimated time for the start of operation is 2025, however it will take massive public involvement and pressure for that to hold.

This page is an evolving overview of plans for the Bus Rapid Transit Line from Summerville to Charleston. Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit have worked as advocates for this effort for 8 years and we were instrumental is delivering the margin of victory in the November 2016 referendum. Bus Rapid Transit was proposed for our region because Light Rail would have cost over 2 Billion dollars more.

We do our work through community events and activities- If you want better transit, showing up really matters. You can view our upcoming events on Facebook.

Video- The fastest way to understand how Bus Rapid Transit works is video
Planning & Issues

Planning a transit connection between Charleston, N. Charleston, Ladson, Lincolnville and Summerville has been in process since the early 1990s. There have been several major proposals including light rail, commuter rail, monorail, and express bus. Currently the #3 express bus line runs from Dorchester Village Shopping Center (a few miles West of Summerville) down Dorchester Road to Charleston. It's also possible to take the #1 Espress to the Otranto Park and ride lot and transfer to complete a trip to Summerville on Tri County Link which will take you all the way to downtown Summerville. Travel time for the CARTA / LINK combined trip from Charleston to Downtown Summerville varies from 90 minutes to 2.75 hours depending on time of day and success at getting to the transfer point on time.
Pink line shows original planned transit corridor for city.
  • Our annotated map of the planned rapid transit line with 18 things which need to be done for it to work properly over the long haul. We've distributed 6000 of these locally, most to family groups with a nose to nose transit conversation. 
  • A 4.7 Million Dollar Engineering study and planning effort is underway now, being done under contract with Charleston County and the COG by DHR
  • I26alt Study, Recommended Alternative- 2015 to 2016, latest in a 20 year, 4 million dollar series of studies of transit between Summerville, Lincolnville, Ladson, Sangaree, N. Charleston, the Neck and Charleston. This study put the cost of light rail to Summerville at over 2 billion dollars and recommended less expensive Bus Rapid Transit. 
  • Transit Enable the Lowline- One of the most critical issues confronting the community is the belief by some that it would be acceptable to end the transit line at Mt. Pleasant Street (Near the Longshoreman's Hall( and either put the BRT vehicles in regular traffic or attempt to service the city with a larger shuttle bus system. Here is why that won't really work.
  • Summerville, Lincolnville & Ladson could be by bypassed by the rapid transit line. 
  • Lowcountry Rapid Transit- web pages by the BCD COG on the project, whcich they're planning.

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