Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority
Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority, or CARTA, is the transit system serving the cities of Charleston and North Charleston and suburban areas of Mt. Pleasant in South Carolina. The bus and maintenance operations are currently contracted to Transdev.
- 1 History
- 2 Routes
- 3 Fares
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Transit Fleet
- 6 Low Ridership Fleet
- 7 Paratransit fleet (Tel-A-Ride)
- 8 References
- 9 External Links
From its inception, CARTA has been hampered by insufficient funding it claimed it required to operate effectively. The transportation service provider explored many avenues to increase funding over the years but no source provided enough to keep CARTA from making substantial reductions in service. CARTA was forced to cease most of its operations in January 2004 and relied on emergency funding from state and federal funding streams to keep it from being liquidated. In early November 2004, a half-cent sales tax referendum was passed (following one instance where it failed and another overturned), providing CARTA with the revenue to relaunch many of the services that were eliminated or consolidated due to insufficient funding. CARTA even added new routes and services throughout their rebuilding phases, as was the case with the launch of CARTA Express in January 2007. On September 1, 2010, CARTA suffered a budget problem which stranded 22,443 passengers during the day and 40,500 passengers during the night.
Despite budgetary setbacks, CARTA ridership continues to increase and become more popular. In 2013, CARTA reported its busiest year of operations, with nearly five million riders for 2012 and a weekday average of over 15,000 riders. DASH service accounted for nearly 1.2 million rides in 2012. In late 2013, CARTA inaugurated its North Area Shuttle service (NASH) as a free circulator route to serve the North Charleston area, however this service was suspended in June 2014 due to low ridership. In February 2014, the NASH Express service was launched, creating an express route between Charleston International Airport and downtown Charleston.
On Sunday, April 15, 2018, CARTA launched the 'Hospitality On Peninsula' (HOP) Shuttle service. The HOP is targeted at workers in the area’s booming hospitality and food-and-beverage industries – though it is open to all commuters – as way to mitigate downtown parking challenges. Operating out of a dedicated Park-and-Ride lot, The HOP shuttle will loop around and run along Meeting Street before it returns to the lot. There are eight HOP-specific stops on the route, each denoted by a white bus stop sign. The cost is $5 to park all day, while The HOP itself is free to use. On Saturday, May 8, 2021, CARTA announced that due to limited ridership and the COVID-19 pandemic, the 'Hospitality on Peninsula' (HOP) service is suspended until further notice. As of April 2022, the service is still suspended.
In recent years, CARTA has purchased several zero-emission vehicles as replacements for their aging fleet of New Flyer D35HF buses. On Thursday, November 14, 2019, CARTA unveiled the first of 6 Proterra Catalyst BE40 zero-emission electric buses to the public. The first unit, numbered 4500, entered trails shortly after. The first 3 units (4500-4502) entered service on February 6, 2020. In addition to the first 3 initial Proterra Catalyst BE40s, CARTA has since received 6 additional zero-emission electric buses, 3 of the newer Proterra ZX5 models in mid-2021, and 3 New Flyer XE40 buses in early October 2021.
- 10 - Rivers Ave.
- 11 - Dorchester Rd. / Airport
- 12 - Upper Dorchester / Ashley Phosphate Rd.
- 13 - Remount Rd.
- 20 - King St. / Meeting
- 30 - Savannah Highway
- 31 - Folly Rd.
- 32 - North Bridge
- 33 - Saint Andrews / Ashley River Rd
- 40 - Mt. Pleasant St.
- 41 (Mon-Sat) - Coleman Blvd.
- 42 - Wando Circulator
- 102 (Mon-Sat) - North Neck
- 103 (Mon-Sat) - Leeds Ave.
- 104 (Mon-Sat) - Montague Ave.
- 203 (Mon-Fri) - Medical Shuttle
- 204 (Mon-Fri) - MUSC / Calhoun Circulator
- 301 - Glenn McConnell Connector
- 1 (Mon-Fri) - North / South Express (North Charleston/James Island)
- 2 (Mon-Fri) - East West Express (Mt. Pleasant/West Ashley)
- 3 (Mon-Fri) - Dorchester Rd. / Downtown
- 4 - NASH Express
- 210 - College of Charleston / Aquarium
- 211 - Meeting St. / King St.
- 213 - Lockwood Blvd. / Calhoun St.
- 7 - HOP Park and Ride Lot / Downtown Loop
The One-Way fares for CARTA are as follows:
Fixed Route: $2.00 per ride
Express: $3.50 per ride
- Address: 36 John St., Charleston, SC 29403
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (843) 724-7420
- Address: 3664 Leeds Ave., North Charleston, SC 29405
|Fleet Number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination Sign||Notes|
|3000-3006||2016||NFI||MD30||Cummins ISB6.7||Allison B300R||Hanover G4 Amber||Used on the DASH routes|
|3007-3009||2018||ADL||Enviro200||Cummins B6.7||Allison B300R||Hanover G4 Amber||
|3010-3012||2017||NFI||MD30||Cummins ISB6.7||Allison B300R||Hanover G4 Amber||Used on The HOP Shuttle|
|3013||2013||ADL||Enviro200||Cummins ISB6.7||Allison B300R||Luminator Horizon|
|3014||ADL||Enviro200||Cummins ISB6.7||Allison B300R||Luminator Horizon|
|Allison B400R||Hanover G4 Amber|
|3500-3510||2010||NFI||D35LFR||Cummins ISL||ZF 6HP594C||Luminator Horizon||
|3511-3515||2011||NFI||D35LFR||Cummins ISL9||Allison B400R||Luminator Horizon||
|4000-4001||2014||NFI||XDE40||Cummins ISB6.7||Allison H 40 EP
|4002-4004||2015||NFI||XD40||Cummins ISL9||ZF 6AP1400B||Hanover G4 Amber||
|4005-4020||2018-2019||Gillig||Low Floor 40'
|Cummins L9||Allison B400R||Hanover G4 White||
|4500-4502||2019||Proterra||Catalyst BE40||UQM HD220||Eaton EEV-7202||Hanover G4 White||
|4503-4505||2021||Proterra||ZX5 40'||UQM HD250||Eaton EEV-7202||Hanover G4 White|
|4506-4508||2021||NFI||XE40||Siemens ELFA2||XALT Energy 200 kWh lithium-ion batteries||Hanover G4 White|
|11 Units||2022-?||Proterra||ZX5 40'||UQM HD250||Eaton EEV-7202|
|101-113||1999||Chance||AH-28 Trolley||Cummins B5.9||Allison AT-545||
|114-124||2000||Chance||AH-28 Trolley||Cummins B5.9||Allison AT-545||
|Detroit Diesel Series 50||ZF 5HP590|
Series 50 EGR
Low Ridership Fleet
|(Unknown Amount)||2018||Ford/Champion||Champion LF
|(4 Units)||2019||Ford/Champion||Champion LF
Paratransit fleet (Tel-A-Ride)
|(1 Unit)||2018||Ford/Starcraft||E-450/Allstar||Ford Triton
|(2 Units)||2019||Ford/Starcraft||E-450/Allstar||Ford Triton
|342, 344, 347-348||2009||Chevrolet||G3500||GM Vortec V8 6.0L||Unknown fleet numbers.|
|350, 353-354||2010||Chevrolet||G4500||GM Vortec V8 6.0L||Unknown fleet numbers.|