Summerville to the Sea on Transit- Feb. 2021
|Louise Brown and the Mayor of Summerville|
Image, Right, this month we honor Best Friends Staff Member Louise Brown, (shown here with the former Mayor of Summerville) who has been working for transit equity and social justice in the Lowcountry for over 50 years, starting with the Hospital Strike of 1969 when she and 11 other African American women stopped tanks in the streets of Charleston with their bodies and singing voices. She rode the train between Summerville and Charleston for decades, sometimes hopping a freight to make the trip as a girl. We call Louise the Mother of the Movement. You can view a photo gallery of her advocacy work.
Good News: Buses to the Beach, Electric Buses, More Shelters, Improved Service and Complete Streets
Thanks to your support, CARTA will restore weekend bus service to the Isle of Palms this summer. It will be possible to ride on LINK and CARTA all the way to the Beach on Fridays. Saturday and Sunday will require traveling to a #10 Rivers Ave. Bus Stop on Highway 78 near the Hospital since Link does not operate on the weekend. Service begins Memorial Weekend. We'll be helping Summerville access this new opportunity. Here is a preview of our plans, which are attracting national interest.
|Proterra Electric Bus made in SC|
Thanks to decisions made ten years ago in response to the SARs epidemic in Asia, our newer Transit vehicles were pandemic ready with improved air circulation systems, surfaces engineered to isolate biohazards and non touch doors. Locally produced hand sanitizer and masks (required) are available for free on board. Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit worked with a nationwide advocacy effort to get emergency federal Covid funding to pay for making buses ready for the pandemic and keeping service operating when ridership fell. Ridership is now increasing again.
|Rep. Marvin Pendarvis|
The Challenge for Dorchester
|Original plan for BRT service to Summerville|
For 25 years very possible option was explored. Best Friends was instrumental in getting an improved weekday Tri County Link Service connecting downtown Summerville to CARTA in N. Charleston in 2019. In 2015, the half million dollar I26 Alt Study promised bus rapid transit connecting downtown Summerville to downtown Charleston in 59 minutes. Voters in Ladson and Lincolnville, and Charleston County approved a half penny sales tax in Nov. 2016 to fund 250 million dollars to build that bus rapid transit system and 350 million dollars to improve bus service.
Summerville's Leaders stood by while the Council of Government facilitated secret meetings at which it was decided to end the new transit system at the Fairgrounds in Ladson instead of making the long promised connection to Summerville and Lincolnville. While most Dorchester leaders claim to support a complete system, it's likely some worked behind the scenes to truncate the system to preserve the status quo from which they benefit. They like a Summerville where many people are immobile and time trapped in the car eats up more of everyone's life. Tired people and people who can't move are easy to ignore.
To get involved for better Transit in Dorchester, Summerville, Lincolnville and Ladson contact Linda Saylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 873-2436.