CARTA unveils new fleet of shuttles for downtown

VIDEO: CARTA unveils new fleet of shuttles for downtown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority showed off a new look for its downtown shuttle vehicles Thursday morning.

CARTA has seven new vehicles, NewFlyer MiDi buses, that will hit the road beginning Thursday. The new vehicles replace existing 17-year-old trolleys.

"We're delighted with the purchase of these new vehicles and understand how important this improved experience will be for local workers, residents, students and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year," CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings said. "With a fresh look featuring Charleston's iconic pineapple for hospitality, we look forward to making downtown more accessible and navigable."

The new vehicles are 30 feet long, eight feet wide and can carry 50 passengers, according to a release from CARTA. Each vehicle costs approximately $335,000.

CARTA officials say the purchases were made possible via a $500,000 expenditure from the City of Charleston that CARTA staff matched with significant Federal funds.

Highlights of the new DASH vehicles include:

  • Panoramic windows with narrow posts for enhanced onboard views.
  • Quieter and more fuel-efficient engines.
  • Improved accessibility with two doors, low floor and easily accessible wheelchair ramps.
  • New comfort features such as cushioned seats and enhanced air conditioning.
  • Enhanced safety with more floor space for standing capacity, LED headlights, better maneuverability, and a narrower frame, taking up less street space.

Three DASH routes allow riders to explore the peninsula, from the Aquarium to the Citadel to Broad Street and Waterfront Park. There is no cost to ride.

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