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CARTA to launch park-and-ride lot in downtown Charleston

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A park-and-ride program will come to the peninsula next month. It is intended to help alleviate parking issues in downtown Charleston, particularly for hospitality and food and beverage workers.

A CARTA shuttle will take commuters to stops throughout the peninsula from a lot at 999 Morrison Drive. Parking will be available for $5 a day in the 170-space lot; there is no charge for bikers and walkers. The service will make eight stops.

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authorityboard approved the program, known as the Hospitality on Peninsula Park and Ride Lot and Shuttle, on Wednesday, with plans to launch it April 15.

The program came about to help downtown workers who struggle to find parking or must pay high parking fees each day.

“The HOP park-and-ride service is an important way we are addressing an obvious need of workers in downtown Charleston,” Mike Seekings, CARTA board chairman and Charleston City councilman, said in a news release. “This lot and shuttle — essentially a pilot program that has been developed from scratch — is the first step in a regional strategy to tackle a number of pressing transportation issues, namely parking and congestion.”

The lot, located at the corner of Morrison Drive and Conroy Street, is the future site of the planned Flagship 3, a tech-focused commercial building planned by the Charleston Digital Corridor. The parking lot will need to be relocated once construction begins on the Flagship project.

CARTA will operate the lot and the shuttles. The service costs about $75,000 a month to run.

“CARTA will assume operating costs in the very near term, but the continued viability and growth of this much-needed service will depend on our partners — particularly those in the hospitality and F&B industries — coming to the table with significant ongoing funding,” agency spokesman Daniel Brock said in an email.

Seekings said the program is a collaboration among the city of Charleston, Charleston County, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. CARTA will operate the lot and the shuttles.

Park-and-ride details: 

  • Times: The shuttle will run from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily, with bus service every 15 minutes from the HOP park-and-ride lot.
  • Location: The lot is at 999 Morrison Drive, at the corner of Morrison Drive and Conroy Street.
  • Parking costs: Cost to park will be $5 a day. Shuttle service from the lot is free.
  • How it works: Users can buy a daily parking pass at a kiosk in the lot. They must display the pass on their vehicle’s dashboard before boarding the shuttle.
  • Availability: Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The service is open to all commuters, including drivers, bikers and walkers.
  • Tracking: Commuters can download the Transit app to track buses in real time.
  • Amenities: The lot will have a parking attendant during operating hours; lighting and security cameras; bike racks; and the Holy Spokes bike share racks.

SOURCE: https://charlestonbusiness.com/news/government/74104/