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CARTA initiates ‘OnDemand’ program

Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 7:12 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority says they have launched their new ‘OnDemand’ program.

CARTA officials say it is a first-in-the-region partnership with transportation network companies Uber and UZURV.

The pilot program will offer door-to-door service for seniors age 55 and up. CARTA says it will also include Tel-A-Ride customers making qualifying trips to or from the Medical District and/or WestEdge Publix on the peninsula.

The service, which officials say launched on Monday, will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Trips with both UZURV and Uber cost $4 each way and CARTA says rides can be scheduled as much as 30 days in advance or with as little as 1-hour notice.

“The focus of CARTA OnDemand is on one thing: putting our riders first,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “The enhanced level of service offered through this partnership with Uber and UZURV will make traveling easier for the most vulnerable transit users. Direct, on-demand access to necessities such as doctor appointments, the pharmacy and grocery store is an unprecedented step forward for public transit in our region, and it is something we hope to replicate in the future.”

CARTA says their OnDemand program will be offered in addition to the existing Tel-A-Ride paratransit service. Riders in need of wheelchair accessibility will be required to use UZURV in order to access CARTA OnDemand.

As part of its door-to-door offering, CARTA says UZURV’s credentialed and certified drivers are able to assist riders to and from vehicles upon request.

The service permits up to 20 trips per month to and from the Medical District and an additional 10 trips per month to or from the WestEdge Publix.

CARTA says all their Tel-A-Ride customers are eligible for unlimited use of the service on the Peninsula.

Registration for CARTA OnDemand is open for anyone 55 and older at CARTA’s website or in person at the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments located at 5790 Casper Padgett Way in North Charleston.

CARTA says current Tel-A-Ride customers are pre-qualified for the program.

Registered users and Tel-A-Ride customers can book rides through the Uber app or CARTA says they can call their OnDemand call center at 843-592-3505.

CARTA says cash is not accepted for the service; a debit or credit card is required.

Under the program, CARTA says they will subsidize the difference between the $4 rider fare and the total trip cost, up to $21.

Personal care attendants can be approved as part of the Tel-A-Ride application and will not be charged. Officials want to remind riders that masks are required while using CARTA OnDemand.

CARTA says more information about their OnDemand pilot program can be found on their website.

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