I was encouraged to see a good-sized group of passengers at last night's public hearing, There were also a few non-riders who stood up to speak about the proposed changes. The majority opionion seemed to be in favor of increasing the fares without cutting services. Several passengers who work the late shift took time off from work to speak out against cutting CARTA's night bus. There were also a number of people standing up for bus 106, which is the only bus providing service to the riders in the Otranto/Hanahan/Stall road area. While all of the networks have aired stories about the hearings, I was disappointed that channel 4 was the only news station to actually send a crew to report on them. (maybe since tonight is the last hearing they'll all be there?)
There's still time to voice your opinion if you didn't make it to one of the public hearings, and couldn't get your hands on a paper survey. Take the online survey here survey, or go to CARTA's website to find the link. You can also email CARTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Tecklenburg, transportation planner at email@example.com. Speak up, voice your opinion, let CARTA know how you feel about the proposed changes. Don't just assume it's a done deal, or that your voice doesn't count. If you don't participate in the process, you shouldn't complain about the outcome!
For myself, I would prefer to see a fare increase with no services cut. Yes, some of the routes need to be adjusted, maybe combined or changes made to the stops. But I would hate to see CARTA @ Night, Sunday services, or route 106 completely eliminated as so many people rely on them. I think increasing the cost of a transfer to fifty-cents would be a good option as well. What's your opinion? Speak up by commenting here, taking the survey online, or contacting CARTA at one of the above email addresses. If you're a CARTA passenger or just somebody interested in the future of public tranportation here in Charleston, then please speak up!