Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Ten Questions about Transit for Candidates.

Here are the Ten Questions we want the people running for municipal office in Charleston, N. Charleston, Summerville. Mt. Pleasant and Ridgeville to answer. We've put them online so we can link them to background material available on the internet and our own blog posts.


Municipal and County governments control Lowcountry Rapid Transit, CARTA and Tri County Link through their presence on the COGs various committees, by appointing members to the CARTA and Link Boards and by having veto power over the CARTA budget. Please get these questions answered by your candidates prior to voting and share their answers with us, on video if possible. The answeres provided in past elections regarding transit seem to vary with the context. Downtown meetings known to have transit riders present got protransit answers. Suburban meetings filled with car drivers got answers promising to eliminate bus stops or use transit funding to build roads. Our elected officials ought to know transit riders don't park their bus in the lot for the meeting and their statements can be recorded on cell phones easily now. Please get us your recordings and we'll link them here.

The 10 Questions-

Developer provided bus stop in Mt. Pleasant.
  1. Do you favor locating the bus rapid transit line on the old railroad line running into Charleston (site of the proposed Lowline park) or do you believe that it and its stations should be located in traffic on Meeting Street? Our blogpost on the Lowline issue.  Challenges of planning better transit in a historic city. 
  2. Will you commit to holding a public hearing to hear the public’s concerns and consider written materials presented. prior to your council’s vote on approving or disapproving the CARTA annual budget. Video of four candidates for N. Charleston City Council answering this question at the Oct. forum. 
  3. Do you believe the rapid transit line should reach downtown Summerville or are you willing to let it end at the Charleston County line?
  4. Do you believe the rapid transit line should run in segregated lanes on Highway 78 or are you willing to have it operate in traffic from Rivers. Ave. to Merlin G. Myers parkway outside Summerville?
  5. What do you believe should be done to assure that affordable housing is constructed within walkable distance (a half mile) of the rapid transit line, including the location of the old Navy Hosptial in N. Charleston?
  6. Do you support implementation of a complete streets standard in the area you would represent accommodating pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders? Information on our complete streets effort.   Riverland Drive effort to get bus stops. Charleston Moves has a collection of answers from 70% of the candidates running on the complete streets issue. 
  7. Will you support requiring developers to build sheltered bus stops and pullouts as part of their development agreement with your Town, City or County. 
  8. Do you support returning regular scheduled public transit bus service to one of our local beaches three days a week, Friday, Sat. and Sunday for 12 hours a day with service not less than once an hour starting no later than Memorial Day Weekend, 2019 and to operate said service until the last Sunday prior to Oct. 1 of the year? Blogpost on effort to return transit to Folly Beach, June 2018.
  9. Would you support repeal of the “Pay Go” plan and restoration of full funding for improvements in regular bus service, raising the money available to improve CARTA and Link service within Charleston County from the current level of 3 million dollars per year to 14 million dollars per year. The paygo plan and I526 issue. 
  10. Will you commit to a plan to complete and commence operations no later than Nov. 2023 on the bus rapid transit line serving Summerville, Lincolnville, Ladson, N. Charleston, the Neck and Charleston. Indianapolis voted to build its bus rapid transit line the same day Charleston County did in Nov. 2016. Operations commenced there in Sept. 2019, 2 years agn ten months after vote approval. Plans for our line anticipate a 9 year planning and construction process the longest such process we know of anywhere on Earth for a project of this type. 
Updates and additional links to this document are expected. 

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