BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A new ride to work could be on the way for hundreds of people who rely on public transportation to get to their jobs.
New routes and new stops are in the works for the TriCounty Link bus system.
It works in partnership with CARTA to bring riders from rural parts of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties into cities like North Charleston, Charleston and Summerville.
For Brenda Salley, of Summerville, getting to work is something she doesn't take for granted.
"I'm a mother with a teenage son," said Salley. "We have only one vehicle and he has a job. So somedays, it's frustrating for me because I can't get here."
Salley has worked at Fruit of the Loom Distribution Center, in Summerville, for almost 8 years. She's always wished she could take a bus to work.
"We have a lot of employees," said Salley "Some of them, you know, they really need transportation to get here."
Fruit of the Loom plant manager Jay Medlin says 170 people work at Fruit of the loom, but an expansion this year will see about 40 more people through its front door.
"Our staffing service, during our peak season, has a lot of people they just cant get here," said Medlin.
That message was heard loud and clear by officials with Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) and TriCounty Link (TCL). With 10 public meetings this month, one Wednesday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, officials addressed key improvements with the bus system.
"We tried to prioritize some of the top 4 or 5 that really weren't performing well and so one of the big ones is to feed an employment shuttle into the St. George commuter route," said Senior Planner with BCD Council of Governments Michele Canon.
Canon said in the last year, more than 100,000 people rode the transit link system, in Dorchester Charleston and Berkeley Counties. With that kind of ridership, she said, it's important to keep improving.
"Another big one we're excited about is Johns Island," said Canon. "To where if folks still want to go the the mall, they can do that, but if they want to get downtown, we're going to try to make a connection to CARTA."
Those changes would open a door of opportunity for many.
Canon said all changes are in the initial stages and she cannot give a timeline. However, she said, she feels confident big things will happen within the year for the transportation system.
The following four meetings include:
- Friday, August 29th at Berkeley County Co-op at 10 a.m.
- Tuesday, September 9th at Berkeley County Co-op at 6 p.m.
- Thursday, September 11th at SC Works Dorchester at 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 16th at Berkeley County Offices at 6 p.m.