Group calls for CARTA service to extend to Folly Beach

Group calls for CARTA service to extend to Folly Beach
Folly Beach will soon have a lower speed limit.

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - It's starting to heat up outside as summer gets closer which means more people will soon be headed towards Folly Beach.

"I like to come to the beach every day, but you have to time it because of the traffic," James Island resident Sharon Clement said. "It's insane."

Clement said the traffic is just one problem she has with getting to Folly.

"Parking is ridiculous," Clement said. "It's just a headache."

It's a headache William Hamilton, the executive director of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, said is hurting the city.

"They could be doing far better if they weren't struggling with the parking issue," Hamilton said.

Hamilton says he has a solution for that: extending CARTA bus routes to reach Folly Beach.

Right now, the closest CARTA stop is about two and a half miles away from Folly.

Hamilton said extending service to downtown Folly Beach will help with traffic.

"It will increase business revenue, and it will increase the quality of life for people in the entire region," Hamilton said.

But it's a change that may not come anytime soon.

"While additional service to area beaches may be a possibility in the future, it's not feasible at this time for a number of reasons," a CARTA spokesperson said in a statement. "For now, we remain focused on updating our fleet and implementing amenities – including dozens of new shelters – technology upgrades and improvements to current service."

The spokesperson explained CARTA doesn't have the funding, types of buses or infrastructure they would need to make it happen.

But Clement, who used to work on Folly Beach, said she thinks adding a bus stop there would be a huge benefit.

"When people come here to work, they're here to make a living and they have to pay so much for parking that all of their pay or all of their tips will go to parking," Clement said.

Hamilton said he and the rest of his group are planning to go to CARTA's monthly meeting on Wednesday to advocate for public transit going to Folly.

The CARTA spokesperson said workers trying to get to Folly should check out the new app Lowcountry Go, which connects drivers with carpools and other transportation options.

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