CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Grants are on the way for public transportation across the country, and some of that funding will make its way to the tri-county area.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced more than $460 million for 96 projects, including one here in the Lowcountry.
$2.7 million will be provided to the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG).
The money is earmarked for the construction of a Hospitality on Peninsula (HOP) park-and-ride facility and transit hub in the Upper Peninsula.
It would provide 115 parking spaces, bike racks, and parking meter kiosks on Mount Pleasant Street and serve the hospitality workforce, tourists, residents, those traveling to the Medical District and others.
“This is actually a good time to think about, and do something about, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation,” said United States Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. “We look at the cost of a project, how the community will leverage that.”
In a news release about the funding, CARTA Board Chairman and Charleston City Councilmember Mike Seekings said the HOP project will support the economic vitality of the region by providing parking and transportation options for the $7.3 billion Charleston-area tourism industry.
Seekings said the transit hub is slated to be completed in about 12 months.
“The HOP transit hub is located at a critical junction in the city and will serve as the multimodal lynchpin in a rapidly growing area along one of our region’s most essential transit corridors,” Seekings said. “Its location and the resources being invested will significantly increase access and mobility options for the community.”
Officials say grant funds can only be used for the intended projects. They cannot be re-distributed by local governments.