An advocacy group, Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, announced its founding on Dec. 17, 2014, in part to pursue rail transit options. The group is an offshoot of another group, Hungryneck Straphangers, which has existed for five years.
Both groups plan to work to persuade Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), the regional public transit authority, to consider the idea.
While Charleston used to have streetcar service in the first part of the last century, service in ended in February 1938 and was replaced by buses.
Organizer William Hamilton has coordinated the efforts of the East Cooper based Hungryneck Straphangers public transit advocacy for five years. As the regional car and truck based transportation system has become subject to intermittent gridlock, it is clear that a major investment in a regional public transportation will have to be made to avoid drastic losses in quality of life in the Lowcountry.
Currently the South Carolina Department of Transportation, City of Charleston and BCD Council of Governments are all working on regional transit planning, however the area is burdened with a 20 year history of failure due to a lack of organized grass roots education and support on the transit issue. An engaged public has been critical to the success of large scale regional transit efforts elsewhere. Hungryneck Straphangers has decided to help establish Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit with the support of transit advocates working in Summerville, Lincolnville, North Charleston, Charleston and James Island who will also be at the CARTA Board Meeting.
A printable informational flyer on the Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit can be downloaded.
The Organization has a Facebook Presence at https://www.facebook.com/