CARTA bus service will be free on Friday.

The event rewards loyal riders and is an opportunity for those who have never ridden CARTA to try the bus system, said Daniel Brock, spokesman for the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority.

"As the Charleston area's public transit agency, our No. 1 focus is the community, and this is a small way that we can demonstrate that," he said.

McDonald's will be serving breakfast and lunch to CARTA drivers, and it will distribute coupons to passengers, Brock said.

"We've done a number of these in the past, and they're always popular for obvious reasons. Whether it's a nurse trying to get to one of the hospitals downtown or an elderly person going to the grocery store or doctor's office, everyone appreciates a little extra change in their pockets," Brock said.

An estimated 13,000 individuals will take 19,000 free trips on CARTA routes Friday, Brock said.

"We want Lowcountry residents to view CARTA as a viable option for getting where they need to go," he said.