CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — CARTA rolled out the first of 16 new buses for its express line Friday.
“If you want to encourage people to ride public transit, you’ve got to give them a good product,” said David Bonner, Manager of Transdev, the company that operates CARTA.
The buses, which cost $477,000 apiece, are equipped with free wi-fi, USB ports, and reclining seats. They replace buses that were built in the early to mid 1990’s. Bonner admits the upgrade was needed.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the money previously, so we’re putting out a better product now that we’ve got some funds and grants, and some good planning actually has done it,” he said.
The buses seat 39 people and will run along CARTA's four Express Routes. Officials say about 1,500 people typically ride the express routes around the Lowcountry every day, with 11,000 total daily riders utilizing CARTA's various public transit options.
Bonner said 80% of the $7.5 million spent on the buses comes from the Federal Transit Administration, with the half-cent sales tax funding the remaining 20%. He said the remaining 15 buses will enter into service in the coming weeks.