The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) will soon add a new electric bus to the fleet, after receiving a $608,000 award from the South Carolina Department of Insurance on Tuesday.
The award will be used to purchase a new Proterra ZX5 Zero Emission, Battery-Electric bus and will replace a 25-year-old bus that has served the transit agency well, logging more than 1 million miles during its time in service. The Proterra ZX5 electric bus has a range of 329 miles on just a single charge and will be the fourth of its kind in the CARTA fleet.
“This is another important step forward for our region, allowing us to continue our commitment to provide safe, reliable and energy-efficient transportation to our riders,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “When I began as Chairman six years ago, CARTA had the oldest public transit fleet in the nation. That we have made this much progress in such a short amount of time is a testament to the leadership of BCDCOG Executive Director Ron Mitchum and his team, who continue to show that CARTA is a forward-thinking, nimble agency dedicated to making public transit equitable, accessible and reliable for all in our region.”
The $608,000 award is part of the second round of funding, totaling $24.54 million, which stems from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, a fund set up as part of a settlement agreement between the automaker and the Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the award agreement, the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments will contribute 20% in matching funds.
In addition to adding new electric buses to the fleet, CARTA has worked on a number of additional initiatives this year including:
- The CARTA OnDemand pilot program for seniors and Tel-A-Ride customers on the peninsula.
- Doubled service on Route 31 Folly Road
- More than 150 installed or planned solar lighting rigs at unsheltered stops throughout the system.
- Dozens of solar-powered shelters installed since 2019.
- The Free Student Fare program, which allows K-12 students to ride for free.
- Reduced senior rates now apply all day.
- Partnering with DHEC to administer more than 1,000 free COVID-19 tests at two major hubs.
Please note that masks are required when utilizing any CARTA service.
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