Proposed CARTA route cuts on Charleston peninsula subject of public hearing today at Trident Tech

Post and Courier file photo

GRACE BEAHM

A public hearing will be held today on a CARTA proposal to eliminate two bus routes on the Charleston peninsula.

The routes that may be cut are No. 21 Rutledge Grove and No. 201 North Beltline.

The hearing today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be at the Trident Technical College Palmer Campus in the Culinary Institute of Charleston Auditorium on Columbus Street.

A second public hearing on the proposed route cuts will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Burke High School Media Center.

The CARTA Route Advisory Committee has recommended the cuts, which would have to be approved by the CARTA board before becoming effective.

Route No. 201 loops around the outer peninsula, while route No. 21 provides service on the inner peninsula.

The routes are being considered for elimination because not enough people ride them, said Jeff Burns, CARTA transportation planner.

New free DASH bus service on the peninsula has reduced riders on both the North Beltline and Rutledge Grove, he said.

Other routes within a reasonable walking distance can handle passengers on the North Beltline and Rutledge Grove., he said.

CARTA has its Tele-A-Ride service for people with mobility issues who might not be able to walk to a new stop, he said.

Some 3,290 people rode the Rutledge Grove bus through March of this year. The route has an average of 10 passengers per hour, which is about half of what it needs to be considered on target.

The North Beltline has drawn 2,478 riders through March of this year, and seven passwengers per hour. Both routes have high cost-per-passenger ratios.