We were dismayed to hear that the delayed decision to suspend operation of the HOP bus which was designed to help Food and Beverage Workers would go into effect on May 8.
|Community Outreach in N. Chareleston|
When we were doing outreach downtown we often found workers side by side at the counter, one who had been riding the HOP for months and their coworker bitterly complaining about the cost of parking downtown, who didn't know it existed. With skeleton staffing at so many places now, it's even harder to have the sort of conversations which open up awareness of transit options. These are people living under incredible pressure, working difficult hours.
Weak Transit is Crippling our Hospitality Sector
Charleston's staffing problems in its hospitality industry, which are aggravated by weak transit service and inadequate affordable housing within reach of work aren't going to be resolved by people who drive big cars to reserved parking spaces from comfortable homes. The city's basic behind the scenes political systems lack of attention to the quality of life of it's workers grows out of historic origins and dark restaurants, early closings and asking guests to make their own hotel beds will be the future unless there is major change.
Crippling the planned rapid transit line with by leaving it running in regular congested traffic below Reynold's Ave. in N. Charleston and turning the railroad line into the city over for dog walking means slow service and for restaurants and hotels, that may mean no service in many cases.
|West Ashely Bus Stop|
The difference now, of course, is that the workers of Charleston are free (sort of) and they can choose other sectors and other places to work if they can't find a decent place to live or a reasonably quick ride home to their families after 8 or 12 hours on their feet serving visitors. We've met dozens of people during this pandemic who had worked for us for better transit and with the coalition of groups we participate in trying to get affordable housing who had simply decided to stop waiting and left to go live somewhere that had these things now.