CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments extended its interactive Regional Transit Framework Plan until Tuesday.
The eight-month RTFP had been looking at how people travel across the Tri-County region and where current and future development patterns are favorable to high-capacity transit services.
The RTFP will set the stage for how the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region establishes a transit network, based on hard data, about future land use and population and employment growth.
The project is in its first phase and will also look at where current and future development patterns are favorable to high-capacity transit services.
High capacity transit corridors could include fixed guideway transit (bus or rail, i.e. Lowcountry Rapid Transit), commuter/express bus services and others.
High capacity transit corridors also include restructuring the local transit network to feed into these corridors with fixed route, demand response, and shuttle services.
The purpose of the Travel Market Analysis is to examine existing conditions in the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region, evaluate transit demand trends, and identify the types of transit services that best match the demand.
The market analysis looked at the following factors:
- Transit potential
- Ridership activity
- Transit need
- Regional travel
Transit Potential is determined by looking at current and future density in relation to:
- Activity Centers
- Land Use
Where there are higher concentrations of residents, jobs, and activity centers such as retail districts, educational institutions and healthcare facilities, transit ridership tends to be higher. Downtown Charleston has the highest Transit Potential in the region, with several blocks having more than 60 residents and/or jobs per acre.
Other areas of relatively high Transit Potential include the following:
- West Ashley between the Ashley River and the Stono River, including the Citadel Mall and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
- North Charleston, along the I-26 / US 78 corridor, Leeds Avenue, Dorchester Road, Ashley Phosphate Road, Red Bank Road, Remount Road, and the Naval Brig
- Mt. Pleasant, along Coleman Boulevard and the US 17 corridor
- James Island, along Maybank Highway and along Folly Road.
Transit Needs are calculated through the lens of specific socio-economic characteristics. Certain population subgroups are more likely to use transit as their primary means of local and regional transportation.
These groups include:
- People without a vehicle
- Persons with disabilities
- Low-income residents
- Young adults
- Older adults
- Transit Needs is highest in the Charleston Peninsula, especially near East Bay Street, south of Septima Clark Parkway, and near Beaufain Street.
Other areas include:
- Ashley River Road in West Ashley, between Old Town Road and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard
- North Charleston, especially along Dorchester Road, Ashley Phosphate Road, and Otranto Road
- Goose Creek, along Harbour Lake Drive
- Hanahan and North Charleston, between I-526 and Yeamans Hall Road