NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Plans to bring a rapid transit system to the Lowcountry are moving forward. The Lowcountry Rapid Transit System would connect Summerville to Downtown Charleston with the goal of quicker travel times and eliminating traffic headaches.
Locals are hopeful the transit system will decrease traffic. “We do have quite a traffic problem here in Charleston so I would like to think that people who had easy access to it would utilize it,” says a Mount Pleasant Resident.
Lowcountry leaders are looking for new ways to reduce traffic congestion on roads and increase safety on the roads says Sharon Hollis with the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government (COG).
“The Lowcountry Rapid Transit will be our region and our state’s first mass transit line,” says Hollis. “It will be bus rapid transit operating in its own dedicated lane that will connect the City of Charleston, North Charleston and Summerville.”
The Rapid Transit system will stretch 26 miles along U.S. 78 and Rivers Avenue. Current plans show 22 stations along the route with cars holding up to 90 passengers. The project is now moving to phase two says Hollis.
“We have been accepted into the Federal Transit Administration’s capital investment grant program which means we can start the process of doing the design and analysis that we need to do.”Sharon Hollis, Principal Planner, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government
Locals say the success of the rapid transit system will hinge on whether or not people actually use it.
“I have mixed feelings about it, I think it could be a great asset to the community if the general public became familiar with it and utilized it,” says Mount Pleasant Resident.
The COG says it has until September of 2021 to complete phase 2 of the project. Hollis says the goal is to have the transit system in place by 2025 with construction beginning in 2023.