Beach Island Flex – Route #402
Service on the Beach Island Flex Route #402 ended Feb. 23, 2013 due to low ridership, but routes and stops on the mainland near both islands do allow families to save time on the road. There is some discussion at CARTA of running a seasonal bus to the beach for the warmer months. Meanwhile nearby mainland bus service provides some options. Tel-A-Ride service for the disabled on the Islands will continue. Thanks to everyone on the Island who contributed to the effort to make this route work.
While CARTA service for anyone but Tel-A-Ride Customers is currently running to the Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island, however nearby stops on the mainland nearby give families the option of dropping off and picking up those members of your vacation party who wish to visit Charleston while others stay at the beach.
Isle of Palms
The best stop to use to reach Charleston from the Isle of Palms is on Hungryneck Blvd. There is a bench and shade and the driver can park in the nearby BI-LO parking lot to pick the rider up. The #40 Mount Pleasant Bus runs to and from Charleston every 40 minutes. The stop is just across the bridge and off the connector road from the Isle of Palms.
Tourists wishing to use Public Transit during their Charleston vacation and stay near the beach can use the 40 Trans Mount PleasantCARTA Route to stay in hotels near 1 Hungryneck Blvd., allowing them to get to Charleston on transit and be a short car or cab ride from the beach. This stop is near Mount Pleasant Town Centre, which has a large outdoor shopping mall, many restaurants and a multiplex movie theater.
Google Maps Link to the Hungryneck Blvd. Bus Stop. Note that the inbound stop to Charleston is on the BI-LO side and there is a new, wooden bench there now.
Persons staying on Sullivan’s Island will have a shorter trip to the nearest bus line by going to Sea Island Shopping Center using the #41 Coleman Blvd. Bus. The closest stop is on Ben Sawyer Blvd, however most people find using the stop at Sea Island Shopping Center easier, in front of the Piggly Wiggly since it easy to park there and make the necessary turns. This stop has a lovely, award winning shelter. Google Maps link to the bus stop at Sea Island Shopping Center.
Getting to Downtown Charleston
Both the 40 and 41 bus lines go to the Visitor’s Center Downtown and the DASH shuttle bus hub. You don’t really need the car downtown anyway since you can go anywhere in the city you like for free using the DASH bus system. If you want art, history and culture while the rest of the family does the beach, everyone can be happy.
We were very sorry to see service to the islands end and our organization remains ready to partner with the community to try again in the future, perhaps next summer. A successful Island service will require both Island Communities to mobilize more ridership from the resident population, employees working on the island and visitors.
Below are some links to our reccommendations and evaluation of the island flex route when it was operating