The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) recently announced the completion of its Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) fleet replacement program. The final two buses were made available via $500,000 in funds secured by S.C. Sen. Marlon Kimpson through the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
“These vehicles serve the vital purpose of moving a good portion of Charleston’s nearly 6 million annual visitors without relying on personal automobiles,” Kimpson said. “Just as importantly, many local workers and residents also rely on the DASH to enhance their mobility, free of charge.”
There are now nine DASH buses in circulation. The service, which is available at no charge, covers much of the downtown area and is free. Ridership on the three DASH routes – 210 CofC/Aquarium, 211 Meeting/King and 214 Lockwood/Calhoun – totals about 60,000 each month.
Each bus cost about $335,000, and the funding Sen. Kimpson secured was leveraged for additional federal resources by CARTA and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments staff.
DASH operations are funded by the City of Charleston, Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, College of Charleston and S.C. Ports Authority.
“We are very appreciative for the support of public transit that Sen. Kimpson has provided at the state level,” said CARTA board of directors chairman Mike Seekings. “Mobility is one of the region’s top challenges and having additional resources to fund initiatives such as DASH, or the forthcoming Lowcountry Rapid Transit project, is invaluable.”