Trans Mt. Pleasant – Route #40
May 16, 2013- Detailed route description added to page, many new links to Google Bus stop listings.
For it’s riders and visitors, stepping on the 4o Downtown, is as good as being across the river. You can really enjoy the spectacular trip over the Ravenel Bridge on the 40. The best views outbound will be on the right side of the bus.
You can see the full route now on Google Transit, now updated with the new schedule. These trips can be modified to connect you to or from any location on the CARTA system, including connections between multiple bus lines.
- In bound Trip from Wando High School to Downtown Charleston (Visitor’s Center)
- Outbound Trips from Downtown Charleston (Vistor’s Center) to Wando High School
- Veolia Bus Tracker- Obtain updated arrival time for any regular CARTA route at any stop, based on real time GPS & Traffic Data
New Schedule and Map for 40 Trans Mount Pleasant Bus Route. Paper copies of this schedule can be picked up at the Bowman Road Kmart Customer Service Desk, at the Sea Island Shopping Center Piggly Wiggly, at Mount Pleasant Town Hall Bld. B/C, and at the Visitor’s Center at Waterfront Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant now.
Route improvements Feb. 2013
- The 40 now runs every 40 minutes and hourly on Sunday. We believe this is the first time since at least 1977 that Mount Pleasant has had any bus which ran more frequently than once an hour to and from Charleston.
- The Mayor of Mount Pleasant wants to purchase portable benches to be placed at the outbound stop at Wando Crossing Shopping Center and the NW Corner of the Bowman/JDB Intersection (where there is a stop behind the Arby’s on the Frontage Road (not the high speed on ramp near the overpass, but about 300 feet N. of the Overpass, behind the Arby’s and Bank. CARTA has 400 thousand dollars for bus stop improvements in this year’s budget, not all of which will be East of the Cooper. There are structured priorities for the stop improvement program, which include ridership and boardings so the more people we have ride, the more stop improvment we’ll qualify for. As permanent stop improvements are made these portable benches will be relocated. We’re pushing the various governments and officials.
- Hungryneck Straphangers is leading a community effort to build an improved stop at S. Shelmore Blvd. (inbound).
- The 40 Route new runs on Six Mile Road and Sweetgrass Parkway (Hungryneck) Between Six Mile Road and the IOP Connector, meaning that stops in both directions are now on Six Mile road. The terrible “Berlin Wall Gulag Stop” in front of the Sound Wall has, thankfully been abandoned. It was the worst place to wait for a bus we have ever seen. Unfortunately the mania for sound walls along the route appears to be spreading. Thankfully since we ride the bus, the Driver gets paid to look at them and we don’t have to.
- Massive improvements to the sidewalk network and bike lanes along the route make getting to stops easier.
Wando High School
The 40 Mount Pleasant Bus provides service between Downtown Charleston and Wando High School. The stop is located on Carolina Park Blvd., where the bench and sign are. Some old maps and internet content indicate the bus goes on the campus but this is wrong. Thanks to the Town of Mount Pleasant for getting a bench and slab in place. The bus runs during the summer, afternoons and evenings, allowing students to participate in sports, after school activities and tutoring. Many students use this service. Some qualify for free bus passes under No Child Left Behind or other programs. Tri County Link’s McClellenville Bus also stops at Wando and takes students to locations north of the school. We used to try to keep them stocked up with schedules out there, but the kids just pull out their smart phones and look at us while asking, isn’t this stuff online? Yes, generation net, it is. Please tell Mom and Dad.
“I love the Bus, but I don’t like that Highway”
We get that brother. I’m nearsighted and I once found my wife in tears after she saw me cross the highway. Johnnie Dodds was a wonderful man. Naming this traffic sewer after him is like building the Jane Jacobs Walmart. There are several ways to avoid pedestrian roulette crossing J0hnnie Dodds Blvd. when your stop or destination are on the other side.
- Open at the Gateway. Check out the new 41 Coleman Blvd. Bus Route, which makes a loop through the Ravenel Gateway District, Patriot’s Point, Wingo Way, Houston Northcut and Waterfront Memorial Park. If you live near the Ravenel Bridge, this bus may take you on the closer side of the big bad road and you won’t have to cross 6 screaming lanes of high speed traffic feeling as vulnerable as a nudist in a Zombie movie. It’s OK to take one bus route out and the other back when it works, though we don’t tend to think that way. You can get off the 41 on Wingo Way and walk up Mathis Ferry or Johnnie Dodds (now with sidewalks) to Runaway Bay Apartments, the Wingo Way Hotels, Remley’s Point and up to Hobcaw and even I’On. It’s a bit of a walk to my home in I’On, but I do it all the time. I like to live as if I believe my wife would miss me.
- Park and Walk. It is a way, but you can get off the 40 on Coleman Blvd. at the first stop past the bridge Eastbound near the entrance to Patriot’s Point and walk down along the road, under the bridge, through the park and around. We’re pushing for a pedestrian walkway up the other side.
- Bowman Bump, If you get off near Bowman Road at Kmart, the new overpass takes the worst part of the traffic over your head. The entire area is sidewalked. Not bad at all now.
- Town Centre shuffle. There are bus stops near Verizon going in both directions. The East Side Westbound stop doesn’t have a bench. (We’ve already raised hell with them about it). However you can cross here while dealing with one lane of low speed traffic in each direction and with a median in the middle. You can also ride out this far with a 30 cent transfer and take the bus going westbound in the other direction back to avoid crossing the road at Anna Knapp or even Shelmore. If you need to shop for a little something, it’s a great trick. I do this to get home after dark or when it’s raining.
- Six Mile Style. CARTA routed the bus up Hungryneck/Sweetgrass Parkway all the way to Six Mile road, so everyone doesn’t have to deal with crossing JDB to get to and from their stops there. The prisoners behind the wall on the far side of the highway may not have been consulted, but we’re betting the guards will warn them when there is a truck on the way once the towers are constructed when they’re out on work release. That wall and it’s taller cousins popping up all over Mount Pleasant now don’t look as bad from a bus. At least only the driver has to look at them. Those of you shopping at Goodwill (and we know you do!) have only a few steps between 100 linear feet of used jeans and your stops coming and going on Six Mile road.
- Is this the End! If you need to get to the hospital, Park West or Ivy Hall on the NW side of Highway 17 North while traveling outbound or are headed into the city from N. 17 beyond Highway 41 on the SW or Seaward side, just ride around the end of the line at Wando High School and get off at whatever stop is appropriate as the bus begins its run back towards Charleston. An outbound stop has has been added at Charleston National recently so you can board, ride out and then in more safely. Unless you have exceptional speed, sight and reflexes, it’s not safe to cross the highway out here. Closer to town drivers have learned there are bikes and people outside their car, but out here it’s road warrior land. Crossing this road at night or in the rain out here may get you killed.
- Wando Wellness. Since it’s the end of the line, you don’t have to cross the road to use the stop at Wando High School ever. If family is dropping you off, there is a round-a-bout nearby that makes the drop off painless and a bench to sit on.
- Tel-A-Ride. If you are disabled and live in a covered area, you may qualify for Tel-A-Ride services, which will go door to door for you. It can be slower and it costs a little more but the bus takes you all the way. It can also handle wheelchairs (as can all CARTA vehicles). Don’t be embarrassed about it. You didn’t decide to build roads so fast and dangerous you can’t cross them safely. It’s perfectly OK to externalize your costs and live. Exxon does it billions of dollars a year and they don’t have to use a walker. If your wife forbids you to throw rocks at cars, what other safe option to you have? The Police Dpt. doesn’t like the rock thing either
Tourists and Visitors can Park Pleasantly and Play Downtown.
This is a great route to use if you are a visitor planning to “Park Pleasantly and Play Downtown” Hotels near the IOP Connector and Mount Pleasant Town Center are on this route, putting you with a five minute drive of the beach and a pleasant bus ride to Downtown Charleston where DASH Bus Transportation is free. You can also stay in our attractive Ravenel Gateway District, just across the river, where four inexpensive CARTA bus runs per hour (3 on the 40 and one on the 41 bus will take you to downtown in less than 15 minutes, allowing you to avoid the hassel of taking you car into the city, where free DASH buses will take you to all major visitor’s destinations. You can plan your bus trips weeks in advance on Google Maps and have real time bus arrival information for the stop near your Mount Pleasant. You’ll find hotels in Mount Pleasant, have pools and generous amenities while costing as much as 100 dollars a night less than downtown. You’ll also be near our beautiful waterfront park, Patriot’s Point, restaurants and shopping. Visitors and people working in the Ravenel District may find that the new 41 Coleman Blvd. Route will serve them better in getting to and from Charleston, since it will run through Patriot’s Point and along Wingo Way.
Description of Route
The #40 begins it’s outbound run from downtown Charleston at the Mary Street Transit center. If you want to catch the bus a few minutes earlier, you can use the stop on the SW corner of the Visitor’s Center Parking Garage, across from the Music Farm, which isn’t as crowded. If you want to wait in real comfort and style, and you have the time, fire up bus tracker and get a coffee at the Charleston Tea Company in the bottom of the Visitor’s Center Parking Garage. Remember bus tracker can lag by a few minutes. You really need to be at your stop when bus tracker says the bus is five minutes away.
After leaving the Transit Center, the 40 turns North on Meeting, going past the Piggly Wiggly on the right and continues up Meeting Street to the Ravenel Bridge. After crossing the bridge, the first stop is at the Entranct to Patriot’s Point, where you can both walk back to Charleston on the bridge Walkway, or go to Patriot’s Point. The 41 Coleman Blvd. Bus also makes this part of it’s trip along this same route, but has front door, no cross the highway service to most of the hotels here, as well as going into Patriot’s Point, all the way out to the Hardbound Hilton.
The 40 continues Eastward on Coleman Blvd. to Houston Northrup where it turns North to stops near Cinnebar (a popular cafe cinema that shows first run motion pictures). It continues to a stop (with a shelter) adjacent to Whole Foods. There are two major shopping centers here and the Red Roof Inn for visitors is within an easy walk of the route as well. Mount Pleasant Town Hall is at this stop as well. The inbound stop to the City of Charleston has two concrete benches on the other side of the road, closer to the Harris Teeter. The inbound (Westbound) stop for the 41 Coleman Blvd. bus to the City, however, stops at the Shelter near whole foods. Inbound Mount Pleasant 40, concrete benches, Harris Teeter; Inbound Coleman Blvd. 41 Bus, Shelter, Whole Foods.
The bus then turns up the Frontage Road, headed Eastbound towards Wando High School. It passes Trader Joes, where there is a stop. It continues on the Frontage road all the way to Kmart, where it turns on to Bowman Road. It continues on Stuart Engals to Wando Crossing Shopping Center where you’ll find a Walmart, Office Depot and several other stores.
It returns to the Highway, where it stops near the East Cooper Campus of Trident Tech. It goes on to and through Mount Pleasant Town Centre, an outdoor mall with a Lowes, Belks, 10 restaurants and many other stores. The bus stops outbound at Verizon. The inbound stop is diagonally opposite.
The bus makes a stop on Hungryneck Blvd., near the IOP Connector (the status of which is tediously argued) near three hotels. If you want to be near the beach (to which you will have to drive) and take the bus into the City, this is a great location.
Past the Connector, the bus runs on the Sweetgrass Parkway to Six Mile Road, where it turn and returns to Highway 17, now rendered heart breakingly ugly by the Great Wall of Mount Pleasant, which runs for almost a mile along the far side. Near this intersection you’ll find East Cooper Community Outreach, a wonderful local charity which runs a food bank, health clinic and other programs. There is also a large and popular Goodwill store, a shopping center and a Cracker Farrell. This is the stop for the Six Mile Community where many of Mount Pleasant’s famous Sweetgrass Basket Makers live.
The bus continues North to the intersection of Highway 41 and 17. Jack’s Cosmic Dogs is located out here.
Past 41 the bus turns into the Market at Oakland, a major shopping center, which includes a Walmart Supercenter. The Walmart has a covered waiting area at the bus stop. This parking lot is also the connecting stop for the Tri County Link C203 Bus which runs out to Awendaw and McClellenville. This is also the Eastern end of the line Stop for the #2 Express Bus into Charleston which takes commuters directly into the City in half an hour from this location. Please note that the inbound 40 stops across the Highway here and no longer runs through the shopping center on the return trip. If you need to get to the other side of the Highway here, I recommend riding around the end of the line and getting off at Mount Pleasant Hospital or one of the other stops on the far side of the road. If you need to go back to Charleston, do the same. This isn’t a safe place to cross the Highway.
End of the Line at Wando High School
Past the Market at Oakland the bus runs out to Wando High School, it’s end of the line stop. Wando High School is highly rated and actively supports the route with the help of it’s students and faculty. There is a bench at the Wando High School stop.
On the return trip. the 40 stops at RSF Mount Pleasant Hospital, where there is a comfortable bench facing in the correct direction to look out for the bus.
The bus passes the Entrance to Park West, a major subdivision with a bus stop next to the Secondary entrance to the associated shopping Center, just West of the Main entrance. The main entrance was designed without any place for a sidewalk to reach the Highway with landscaped berms so close to the road there is really no where to stand. The fountains and other architectural elements of the primary entrance cost several hundred thousand dollars and make passage by pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders at that entrance suicidally dangerous.
There are two inbound stops near the intersection of Highway 41 & 17.
The Easternmost bus stop is on the NE side of the Intersection, the side away from Charleston, indicated as being in front of Seels Outboards. Here is a Google Maps Link to the NE 41/17 Bus Stop
People needing to catch the bus into the city out here can also wait under the tree in front of Greater Goodwill AME Church. However they need to allow time to walk around or vault the highway style guard rail the car drivers at DOT decided to put between the shade and the sidewalk, for reasons we don’t understand. Evidently the wall wasn’t enough ugly.
The stops near Highway 41 have been requested as a priority for an upgrade with benches and/or shelters, but it’s going to take sustained pressure to make it happen.
The bus travels back towards Charleston passing stops again at on Six Mile Road, Near the County Service Center at the intersection of Sweetgrass Parkway and the IOP Connector, and in Town Centre. There is an unofficial, but very popular inbound/westbound stop with a bench where people staying at the three hotels nearby can wait for the bus into Charleston. Image left.
At Wando Crossing Shopping Center and that Walmart (we have two), the Westbound 40 does not enter the shopping center so people traveling inbound from the Shopping Center or nearby residential areas have to cross the highway there to reach that stop.
The Bus Takes the frontage Road from the intersection with Bowman to Houston Northcutt with stops behind the Arbys, which serves the Medical Center there, at Publix Shopping Center, S. Shelmore Bvld (Near the BI-LO) and in front of the Runaway Bay Apartments.
It then turns on to Houston Northcutt, stopping in front of the Harris Tetter before turning West on Coleman to run into the City. The last stop before crossing the Bridge is on the intersection of W. Coleman Blvd. and McGarth Darby, across from WCBD Channel 2 TV.
The bus then crossed the Ravenel Bridge, going into the city and after a few stops on N. Meeting Street, reaches the Visitor’s Center. Pull the cord as the bus enters the pocket park when it turns off Meeting to dismount at the SW corner of the Parking Garage, closest to the Visitor’s Center and the DASH bus Hub on the South end of the Visitor’s Center Building.
Park and Ride Options on the 40 Route
Mount Pleasant residents often used CARTA to reach downtown, while parking their cara for free at a shopping center near a convenient bus stop. Once downtown the Free DASH bus system allows them to reach the parts of the city people need to goThe major issue with doing this is having to cross a dangerous highway to access one of the stops needed to make the round trip. Several good locations reduce the road crossing problem.
Residents planning to Park Pleasantly and Play Downtown beyond Highway 41 will find their best option on the North End of Town to be the Oakland Shopping Center, from which both the 40 and Express Bus run downtown (the stop locations in the parking lot are different). To go into Town from this location ride the bus out to Wando High School and around the N. end of the Route, then back into the city which takes only a few minutes.
For the middle of town the never filled in it’s history Kmart Parking Lot is a fair option. It has service to and from the city from an Express bus stop in the morning and evening. Unfortunately, you’ll need to cross the road, go under the overpass and wait behind the Arby’s to travel into the city from the parking lot. On the trip home the 40 w ill drop you on Bowman Road, across Bowman from the Parking Lot.
Close to the City, the stops on Houston Northcutt between Whole Foods and Harris Teeter are your best option. The inbound stop for the 40 is at the Concrete Benches in front of Harris Teeter. The outbound stop is at the Shelter, adjacent to Whole Foods. There is a Starbucks at 920 Houston Northcutt, near the inbound stop with comfortable seating where you can wait for your bus into the City, while keeping track of your ride using Bus Tracker.
Missing Bus Stop Infrastructure on 17
Years of promises and assurances about bus stops being planned as part of the 140 million dollar road widening project along 17 turned out to be, to put it politely, less than reflective of the reality of the process. The road was rushed to completion without any real thought about transit and instead of pouring the necessary concrete for stops during construction of the sidewalks and curbing at negligible cost, stop infrastructure now has to be retrofitted after a tedious fight between the multiple levels of government involved about who has to pay for it, and do the work.
Performance and Ridership
The #40 has operated on this basic route for over a decade. It is the East Cooper area’s oldest bus line. It transported 12,707 passengers in April 2013 (10 passengers per vehicle hour) and is recovering from lost ridership due to disruptions from road construction over the past two years which obliterated the sidewalk network serving most of it’s stops during 2012. Nearly all the bus stop benches along the route before the road project were destroyed and need to be replaced. The buses run full outbound in the morning and inbound in the evenings some times. It is clear residents can confidently plan to see bus service on this corridor in the future. It has managed an increase over the last seven years overall despite new Express Bus service being added to the same transit corridor. Overall, transit ridership East of the Cooper has doubled in the last seven years. The biggest challenges facing this route are the lack of comfortable places to wait for the bus, issues crossing the highway where necessary and traffic congestion. The 40′s long, straight route attracts some of CARTA’s most experienced drivers however, and the on time performance of this route has been exceptional, even during the road construction.
Feedback and Input
If you have ideas or feedback about this route or page, please contact Hungryneck Straphangers.