New route planned for bus rapid transit system in the Lowcountry

Updated: Nov. 5, 2020 at 3:13 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Lowcountry Rapid Transit System route has been updated and shortened by a few miles.

Team members recently announced the bus system would go between downtown Charleston and the Ladson fairgrounds, instead of the previous plan which took it out to Summerville.

The concept for the LCRT came from the rapid growth in the Lowcountry’s population and subsequent traffic on the interstates, especially I-26. The Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments came up with this as a solution to reduce traffic and improve mobility in the Lowcountry.

The bus rapid transit system is expected to start in Ladson, travel down Highway 78, then down Rivers Avenue (Highway 52) and into the downtown Charleston area. The plan would also be to create a dedicated lane on Rivers Avenue only the bus could use, therefore bypassing any vehicle traffic on the roadway.

BCDCOG regional strategist Daniel Brock said the decision to change the route was made to balance cost and give the BCDCOG greater opportunities to get federal funding.

Right now estimates show there is low ridership in this part of Dorchester County which wouldn’t allow the rapid transit project to qualify for federal funding. In the meantime, Brock said they want to create a local bus route from Summerville to the Fairgrounds in Ladson and hope to extend the line to Summerville at some point later on.

“Doing it this way keeps us competitive for hundreds of millions of federal dollars,” Brock added.

The team hopes to hold a public meeting in January to share the latest information and get feedback from Lowcountry drivers. The goal is to get the bus service up and running by 2026. You can read about the stops along the route and get a closer look at the map by clicking: here.

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