CARTA adjusts schedule for restaurant workers

CARTA recently expanded the weekend hours of its last trip from downtown to North Charleston and is considering other changes to make life easier for downtown hospitality workers. Brad Nettles/file photo

CARTA recently added two more weekend runs to one of its most popular routes in hopes of easing hospitality workers’ transportation woes.

The Route 10 Rivers Avenue bus, which previously made its last trip from the corner of Meeting and Mary streets at 11:07 p.m. on Saturday, now leaves downtown at 11:48 p.m. The final Sunday trip has been pushed back from 7:57 p.m. to 9:01 p.m.

While councilman James Lewis concedes the buses aren’t leaving much later than before, he hopes the extra minutes will make a difference for restaurant and hotel workers who may have a few time-consuming cleaning tasks at the end of their shifts.

“People were having a hard time getting home,” Lewis says.

Workers stranded by the suspension of bus service typically take a cab to North Charleston. That ride cost $15-$20 before the city last fall raised rates on weekends in an effort to lure more taxis into the tourist district, Lewis says. Now, he estimates, the fare is $40.

“I don’t think they’re getting any more cabs at night, but it put a hardship on the workers,” Lewis says.

According to CARTA spokesman Daniel Brock, the new later trips are each attracting about a dozen riders.

“While we eventually want to go further, we want to make sure that hospitality workers are aware of these extensions,” Brock says. “It could save them cab fare.”

It currently costs $2 to ride the bus.