Officials: Ride-sharing could ease Charleston traffic

Officials: Ride sharing could ease Charleston traffic

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If you face sitting in traffic on your way to work or home, there's a way you could help ease congestion, save money, and get a little cash for transportation in an emergency.

There's a match-making service, not for romance, but for your commute called Trident Rideshare.

Vonie Gilreath of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments says your commute could be easier using the web-based ride-sharing service.

It helps you find someone heading the same way you are.

"Our goal is to get people out of single occupancy vehicles and get them using bicycles, walking, taking transit and carpooling," Gilreath said.

She is asking Charleston employers to encourage workers to explore the idea of carpooling.

Drivers in the Charleston area commute in some of the worst traffic in the entire state, often creeping along under 10 miles an hour, or sitting in traffic for an hour and a half or more.

A South Carolina Department of Transportation study shows the number one most congested interstate corridor is I-526 between Savannah Highway and Rivers Avenue.

Two others made South Carolina's top 10 list. I-526 between Rivers Avenue and Mount Pleasant's Highway 17 comes in at number four; and I-26 from Jedburg Road (exit 194) to Savannah Highway (exit 221) is number eight.

Some people find traffic getting worse.

Ashley Rice drives her child to school each weekday morning.

"My commute to take my child to school down 17 has almost doubled since Jan. 1," she said.

Rice made the comments while having coffee in West Ashley with Bethany Britton, who said she thinks ride sharing is a great idea.

"It would help not only traffic congestion, it would also help our environment," Britton said.

On Trident Rideshare's website, you can sign up to  find potential carpool matches. The same program is used in metro areas across the country.

"You select how many miles out you're willing to go to carpool with somebody and hopefully you'll match and find that just right carpool partner," Gilreath said.

The service is free, and  you don't have to own a car. The program will also match  people who want company walking or biking  to work, school or a bus stop.

Gilreath said the main concern most people have is privacy, but she said no personal information is released until you decide to meet your match.  You work out if and how to share costs.

She said people aren't required to commute every day.

"If you're just going two days a week, you can register and find somebody to go two days a week," she said.

While the concept sound good to the women having coffee, Rice and Britton say they would turn to Facebook friends or neighborhood groups first.

Others like their independence.

Norman Saunders said he prefers driving his own truck.

"I'd rather get to work and come back by myself," Saunders said.

He says he'd worry about emergency transportation. But Trident Rideshare offers a solution for that, Gilreath said.

"Whether it's to take a taxi or some other form of transportation, we would reimburse you for the cost of that up to three times a year," she said.

A phone app is in the works for Trident Rideshare, which Gilreath said  should be up and running within a year.

Most Congested Interstate Corridors in South Carolina*

  1. I-526 between UW-17/Savannah Hwy and US-52/Rivers Ave, Charleston
  2. I-85 between US-29/Exit 34 and I-26/Exit 70, Greenville
  3. I-26 between Columbia Ave/Exit 91 and US-21/US-176 /Exit 119, Columbia
  4. I-526 between US-52/ Rivers Ave and Hwy 17N, Charleston
  5. I-20 between SC-204/Exit 51 an White Pond Rd/Exit 87, Columbia
  6. I-85 between I-26/Exit 70 and SC-110/Exit 83, Spartanburg
  7. I-85 between SC-110/Exit 83 and US-29/Exit 106, North of Spartanburg
  8. I-26 between Jedburg Rd/Exit 194 and US 17/Savannah Hwy/Exit 221, Charleston
  9. I-77 between I-26/Exit 1 and SC-34/Exit 34, Columbia
  10. I-385 between Fairview St./Exit 24 and End of Freeway, Greenville

Source: South Carolina DOT Multimodal Transportation Plan

For more information on Trident Rideshare, visit its website,

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