CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Leaders from the City of Charleston and CARTA had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the beginning of the city's new Park-and-Ride service.
The new Park-and-Ride parking lot is located at 999 Morrison Dr. in downtown Charleston.
"This HOP program is a critical first step for making a successful network of park-and-ride facilities in the Charleston region," Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
Tecklenberg was joined by several other leaders from the city and from CARTA who have been putting together the program for months.
"This is about helping the hospitality industry, about helping hospitality workers, about providing public safety for those workers," Tecklenberg said.
The program was designed to help hospitality workers, but anyone can use the service.
That's why many people think this could be helpful not just for people working in the hospitality industry, but for everyone living in the Charleston area.
"It really does help meet the overall parking and transit needs of the peninsula," Chairman of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Governors Linn Lesesne said.
There are 170 parking spaces in the new park-and-ride parking lot.
Parking in the lot will only cost $5 for 24 hours.
The people behind the project say they're expecting a huge influx of people wanting to take advantage of the service which is why they're already looking at expanding.
"We are, even before opening up this lot, looking at other locations around the city, specifically in West Ashley," Chairman of CARTA Board of Directors Mike Seekings said.
Although organizers say they're confident demand for the new service will be high, they also say something like this is unprecedented.
"This is an experiment, in some ways," Seekings said. "We've never done this before. We've never had a park-and-ride on the peninsula of Charleston."
The service will run from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. every day.
The first day the buses will be operating on Sunday.