CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – CARTA board members on Wednesday approved plans to test out a shuttle service to the Isle of Palms (IOP).
The service will be operated by CARTA and the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG).
The shuttle will run each weekend from September 19 to October 18, making trips hourly between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Riders will be picked up in Mount Pleasant and the Charleston County East Cooper Service Center (1189 Sweetgrass Basket Parkway), then travel to IOP, stopping at 14 Ave and Ocean Blvd, and Palm Blvd at 28th Ave.
Riders can track the routes using the Transit App.
Masks will be required for all riders. Only small items, such as beach bags and chairs, will be permitted, with a limit of four items per rider. Large items like surfboards and umbrellas are not allowed.
Riders must be able to hold all items, or safetly store them under the seats. Items cannot take up additional seats or obstruct the aisle.
In a prepared statement from the City of Isle of Palms to the BCDCOG, officials say they are excited to move forward with the plan and believe it will help ease beach congestion. Among the officials providing comment was IOP City Councilman Jimmy Ward.
“We just think it’s an incredible opportunity and I believe that the key to success in this project is advertising and promotion,” says Ward.
And while Lowcountry leaders support the initiative, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie says he fully supports the project, he says it shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to eliminate additional beach access and parking.
“This is not an appeasement for the reduction of beach access for our citizens and other who are not residents of the Isle of Palms but this will augment it and I this was a good idea,” says Haynie.
While there will be no cost to riders, BCDCOG estimates the trial program will cost between $30,000-$35,000.
After the trial period, the success of the program will be evaluated and a decision will be made regarding long-term arrangements.
CARTA Board of Directors Chairman, Mike Seekings, explained that “over the next month, we’ll observe how the route functions and use what we learn to map out a long-term strategy that will provide benefit to residents throughout the region.”