NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) will begin a new initiative that helps cyclists and pedestrians looking to cross North Bridge in West Ashley.

Free connections are set to begin October 3rd, allowing free transportation between stops on either side of North Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. The new initiative also allows bicycles to be taken on the bus from one side of the bridge to the other for free.

North Bridge does not currently have amenities for cyclists and pedestrians, however, CARTA’s new initiative also allows cyclists to bring their bicycles on the bus in between stops.

“CARTA is committed to connecting the region by providing safe and reliable transportation to anyone who needs it,” says Mike Seekings, CARTA Board of Directors Chairman. “This new offering will help bridge the safety gap that currently exists so that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic ability will be able to safely cross the North Bridge.”

North Bridge is a section of Route 32 which covers hourly connections between North Charleston and West Ashley through the bridge with stops in North Charleston Superstop, Ashley Landing Mall, and Citadel Mall.

Route 32 service will be doubled, and wait times will be cut in half once the enhanced service begins in October, and will happen every half-hour Monday through Saturday, every hour on Sunday.

According to SCDOT, there have been nine pedestrian/bicycle/motor collisions on the bridge between 2014 and 2017, with three pedestrian/bicycle/motor fatalities reported since 2018.

“Increasing the frequency of Route 32 and allowing bikes on the 32 bus as needed are important and appreciated steps toward a better, more accessible North Bridge crossing for all,” says Charleston Moves Executive Director Katie Zimmerman. “These improvements will offer more safe crossing opportunities to work, appointments, and visiting family.”     

The needed structural improvements to North Bridge are underway through the Better North Bridge Project.

The Better North Bridge Project is a collaborative effort between Charleston County, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, and Charleston Moves that aims to provide a permanent, standalone bike and pedestrian crossing between North Charleston and West Ashley.

Locals can see full route details and bus tracking in the Transit App which is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.