12 alternative routes for a planned mass transit bus line between Summerville and Charleston are now being considered by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG).
Under the originally introduced plans for the Lowcountry Rapid Transit project, the route would begin in Downtown Summerville and continue down Highway 78 toward the Charleston peninsula. Now, an alternate route that begins in the Nexton community is being considered. The alternate route would take commuters from Nexton, down I-26 to the 205B exit, then continue down Highway 78 east to North Charleston and Charleston.
“Summerville has a lot of population not only in the 78 corridor but also starting to expand over to Nexton so we just want to make sure that we do that evaluation and really understand where we can move the most people along this corridor,” said Sharron Hollis, Principal Planner with BCDCOG.
The project aims to reduce congestion on local roads and quickly transport people between Lowcountry communities.
Hollis said that the different routes are being considered as part of an alternatives analysis. The analysis has to be conducted in order to qualify for federal funding for the project. She also said that there were requests from the community to look at the Nexton route.
But the Nexton route is concerning to Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit Executive Director William Hamilton. He told News 2 on Monday that some communities such as Lincolnville and Ladson need the bus line because they are growing quickly and believes that Nexton is not the right place for the line.
“It’s a wonderful community in many ways but transit runs on density…” said Hamilton. “Nexton simply isn’t large enough or dense enough or walkable enough or culturally significant enough to anchor a transit system of this magnitude.”
The other alternate routes that are under consideration are on the Charleston peninsula with variations of the route traveling through different parts of Meeting Street, King Street and other areas.
Residents can learn more about the project and share their opinions on it at two upcoming public meetings on:
Thursday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northwoods Mall (near the JCPenney Court), 2150 Northwoods Boulevard North Charleston, SC 29406
Tuesday, June 25 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the International Longshoremen’s Association, 1142 Morrison Drive Charleston, SC 29403
More information about the project is available online at lowcountryrapidtransit.com.