As the Charleston, S.C. community continues to grow with tourism, residents and businesses, so does the need to increase its infrastructure to handle the influx of people. Transportation alternatives are being discussed through the I-26 Alternatives Analysis to improve maneuverability throughout the Lowcountry.
I attended a meeting last night where the traffic study team is recommending a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. A number of larger cities in Oregon, California and Texas have BRTs and they have had great success. This mode of transportation uses dedicated lanes and signaling systems to decrease travel time.
From an accessibility standpoint, BRTs have wider doorways and have zero-incline entrances for people with disabilities. Tie-down systems have also improved making it easier for drivers to secure wheelchairs. The accessibility of these busses will make traveling with a disability a lot easier.
Although it’s exciting to see what the future holds for transportation in Charleston, there is still a long way to go before we see these new buses. It’s estimated to be 7-10 years before the approximately $365 million system is up and running. CARTA, Tri-County Link and the Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston Council of Governments are among the organizations working on this project.
For more information about I-26Alt, go to www.i26alt.org. Take a look at the video from ABC News 4 where I talked about the importance of accessible transportation (the reporter inadvertently gave me a new last name in the video): http://abcnews4.com/news/local/365-million-plan-to-lighten-i-26-traffic-would-focus-on-more-buses.