Since my van will be in the shop for a few weeks, I’ve been looking into alternate modes of transportation. I thought this would be as good a time as any to explore the accessibility of the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) bus routes.
It was a chilly Friday morning when I made the trek in my wheelchair to the Route 10 CARTA bus stop on Meeting Street. I was on my way to the disAbility Resource Center in North Charleston. I wasn’t sure what to expect. All kinds of questions were running through my mind. Would it be easy for the driver to tie down my chair? Will my transfer to the next bus be seamless?
The stairs to get on the bus turn into a wheelchair lift, which extends to the ground allowing me to board the vehicle. Once I’m on the bus, I can drive my chair to the designated wheelchair tie-down location. Fortunately, the driver was able to connect my chair to the locking system without any problems.
We cruised along Meeting Street, picking up passengers along the way. The bus was quite full as we arrived to my transfer point: the Super Stop on Rivers Avenue. From there, I hopped on Route 11 to go on Dorchester Road. When we arrived at my stop, the bus driver pulled off to the side of the road to operate the lift and let me out. I was only a few yards away from my final destination.
I’m grateful for the ability to use accessible public transportation. It’s good to know when my main mode of transportation isn’t working, there’s a way to get around.