North Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – Nearly 2,000 people from local religious congregations throughout the Lowcountry packed out the sanctuary of Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston to address housing and transportation problems that they say have reached a crisis level.
The meeting, called the Nehemiah Action Assembly, was organized by The Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM). They have spent years researching the public transit and housing in the Lowcountry. According to their research, 11,000 people rely on public transportation, but say that the CARTA bus routes don’t run frequently enough to meet their needs. More than 200,000 people say that they cannot afford their rent or mortgage.
Adam Krasnoff, Co-Chair of Transportation Committee, CAJM, says “In Charleston sometimes there can be a lot of divides between people of different socio-economic and racial backgrounds and it’s just important for everyone to get in one room and have a dialogue about the issues.”
Multiple CARTA board members, local council members, and representatives were present at the assembly. The CAJM team presented several best practices to solve housing and transportation issues.
Best practice suggestions for CARTA:
- increase frequency of operating hours on bus routes 11, 12, & 32
- remove limitations on senior bus passes
- create a weekly unlimited bus pass for those who can not afford to pay for the monthly unlimited bus pass up front.
Daniel Brock, CARTA spokesperson says that they will act on these recommendations if funding is available.
He says, “The bottom line is that it comes down to resources and CARTA is doing the most it can with what it has right now.
The Charleston Area Justice Ministry is also asking local officials to commit to making housing more affordable in the Lowcountry. They proposed a Charleston Housing Trust Fund that would collect millions from Charleston county, city of Charleston, North Charleston and Town of Mount Pleasant to be used for creating low-income housing.
For more information housing and transportation best practices developed by the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, click here.