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The tourist center is at the end of an existing rail bed. The rights of way are always expensive for rail lines, so with it already in existance it will be significantly less expensive than constructing a new line.

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The tourist center is at the end of an existing rail bed. The rights of way are always expensive for rail lines, so with it already in existance it will be significantly less expensive than constructing a new line.

Are you/we talking about the tourist center across from the museum? Or is there one that runs on the cooper river side down East Bay?

I could have sworn that the rail line ran down the right side of the Penisula (when looking at a map) through the ship docks near Chapel Street, past the aquairium, behind the HT and down to the Polymer Plant beside the Custom's house? Maybe there is more there than I remember?

I know that right of ways are expensive but more expensive than laying track down the center of the Penisula to the tourist center?

Again, my apologies if I am way out of line. I need to get back and visit and look at this?

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I am talking about the Visitors Center on Mary St I think (maybe its Anne St). There is an abandoned rail bed that runs between King and Meeting. It could potentially go as far as the transit center on John St.

Try this link to see what I'm talking about.

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I am near blind. By rail bed, do you mean there once was rail? Or there is rail there now ? maybe hidden?

This is where I am talking about. You will see the plant at right at the end of the market and rail behind it. If you follow it up the island it runs right down the right side of the penisula.

now, no doubt there is some dock works (sorry don't know how to link)

http://maps.yahoo.com/beta/index.php#mvt=h...82368&mag=1

Again, I have not been keeping up with Charleston light rail but this rail corridor takes one right DT to the market, not the middle of the Penisula.

I am sure this has been discussed so sorry if I am bringing up again

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Yes, rail bed means a place where rail used to run. They can usually be fixed up for rail use with less cost than building a new one. If you look between King and Meeting on my link you can see a continuous gap between all the buildings, and that is where the rail bed is.

The one you are talking about is an active rail line, used by the port.

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A transit line going through the port area to the market will probably not happen for a long time. The port desparately needs its Columbus Street and Union Pier terminals as well as the rail line for transport inland. The best way to start the transit line will be at the Visitor's Center that Spartan mentioned. This part in between Meeting and King would become a major hub.

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yep sounds good.

It was 20 years ago when I lived in Charleston and I use to follow the rail line on my bike while redesigning the entire right side of the island.

That was back when the area around the aquarium was public housing, the Harris Teeter was just built, the park on the Cooper River was not there and where the Charleston Place Hotel is was only a empty lot with a chain link fence around it. That side of King Street was kind of risky at night.

I always thought if I got rich I would knock down the "Polymer Plant" and build a bunch of bars and restaurants and run the train down the Peninsula that emptied into the market and then develop the entire right side of the lower Peninsula

The good ole days.

Anyway, thanks for the info.

Edited by Subway Scoundrel

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yep sounds good.

It was 20 years ago when I lived in Charleston and I use to follow the rail line on my bike while redesigning the entire right side of the island.

That was back when the area around the aquarium was public housing, the Harris Teeter was just built, the park on the Cooper River was not there and where the Charleston Place Hotel is was only a empty lot with a chain link fence around it. That side of King Street was kind of risky at night.

I always thought if I got rich I would knock down the "Polymer Plant" and build a bunch of bars and restaurants and run the train down the Peninsula that emptied into the market and then develop the entire right side of the lower Peninsula

The good ole days.

Anyway, thanks for the info.

I'm trying to picture what the "Polymer Plant" is (or was). Is it part of the Port?

Edited: Never mind. I finally paid attention and saw your map. It looks like those warehouses between East Bay and Washington. They are a waste of space I suppose, but I have to admit I love riding my bike down Washington, or getting a parking space there. No traffic!

Edited by lsgchas

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CARTA has been relieved of its debt, and now has a $1.1 million surplus. is going to implement a park and ride program in Charleston...

"Board members agreed Friday to get the authority's long-awaited commuter express park-and-ride system off the ground, which is expected to cost around $770,000 a year."

"CARTA now waits for approval from eight municipalities for its proposed budget amendment to move forward with the express service.

"CARTA's board also heard a presentation at its monthly meeting about bringing to the Lowcountry a $46 million rail transit system, primarily for professionals commuting to work. A 22-mile line would stretch from Summerville to the peninsula and stop at three stations, including at the North Charleston intermodal center."

This is exciting news for Charleston!

This might be the first traditional park and ride system in South Carolina. Columbia may have one though, I am not sure.

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RTMA(Rural Transportation Management Association) got a nice boost from the half-cent sales tax and will be providing expanded service in the rural parts of the Charleston metro.

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That's good. Often the rural areas of the metro area get forgotten in discussions about mass transit, so kudos to the Charleston area for including them.

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It looks like the potential for passenger rail service to Moncks Corner and West Ashley will also be considered, along with the line discussed earlier from Summerville to Charleston.

Don't you mean Summerville to downtown? ;) This is good news...there is a big need for people who live West Ashley to find an alternative means of transportation considering every main highway in this part of the city is choked with commuters in the mornings and evenings. Hopefully, a stop will be considered for Citadel Mall as well as the new West Ashley Circle on Bees Ferry.

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thats exciting! I hope things get moving there. I think Charleston is probably hte best candidate for commuter rail in SC with strong nodes developing like Monks Corner and Summerville. Soing so would also change the devlopment in those towns to some extent, depending on where the stations are located.

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I posted this question in the Columbia and Greenville threads similar to this one:

It strikes me that so many of us advocate an excellent transit system as a necessity for our cities... for everyone else. Just out of curiosity, how many of you that live, or have lived, in Charleston have used the CARTA bus to get around town for any reason? If so, what is your reasoning for it? If not, why not? What would it take for you to ride the bus?

I have never lived in Charleston, but on my visits there I have never used public transportation, but I know many tourists use the trolley bus to get around.

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During my time living in Charleston I used CARTA a few times. I usually ended up riding the bus because of car problems but absolutely had to get from Charleston Heights to school Downtown. I had no problems with using the bus other than having to stand at the nearby bus stop and wait for the next bus. I usd to be impatient like that. I also used the public bus system in Providence, RI quite often also without any problems what so ever. That being said, I've gotten used to years of independence through my own car and nothing less than commuter rail would persuade me to park my car for good.

Charleston is of course too small and probably too conservative but I would love for the area to something like Atlanta's Marta or Boston's MBTA

I posted this question in the Columbia and Greenville threads similar to this one:

It strikes me that so many of us advocate an excellent transit system as a necessity for our cities... for everyone else. Just out of curiosity, how many of you that live, or have lived, in Charleston have used the CARTA bus to get around town for any reason? If so, what is your reasoning for it? If not, why not? What would it take for you to ride the bus?

I have never lived in Charleston, but on my visits there I have never used public transportation, but I know many tourists use the trolley bus to get around.

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There is an interesting article on commuter rail in the P&C today. Definitely worth a read. It compares Charleston to Nashville's new Music Star commuter rail line. Thre is a study that says if Charleston were to implement commuter rail from Summerville to downtown it would be more successful than Nashville's from day 1. Nashville has a daily ridership of about 300 with a goal of 750 next year. The study says that Charleston would have a ridership of about 1600 from the start.

Commuter rail is definitely a great possiblity for Charleston, and I hope that some progress is made towards this end in 2007.

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There is an interesting article on commuter rail in the P&C today. Definitely worth a read. It compares Charleston to Nashville's new Music Star commuter rail line. Thre is a study that says if Charleston were to implement commuter rail from Summerville to downtown it would be more successful than Nashville's from day 1. Nashville has a daily ridership of about 300 with a goal of 750 next year. The study says that Charleston would have a ridership of about 1600 from the start.

Commuter rail is definitely a great possiblity for Charleston, and I hope that some progress is made towards this end in 2007.

Indeed, it is an excellent article. It sounds as if Charleston would have some cost savings over other cities, so that is good. Given the density and tourist economy of Charleston, it seems a natural to be the first in SC to do a major rail project. If Charleston did this, and it was successful, I think it would provide a huge push for Cola and GSP to do the same.

It would be great to see this project take a few forward steps in 2007.

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I agree.

Though I should point out that Cola is actually further along in the quest for commuter rail. They just finished their study that says its possible... now its just a matter of funding and whether or not the governments will put up the money for it.

I will also point out that Greenville and Spartanburg teamed up to do astudy to see if commuter rail would work between these two communities.... and the answer was a resounding NO. GSP has so much sprawl and to many destinations for commuter rail to work.

Columbia and Charleston both have stong core business districts, so that inbound/outbound effect is more pronounced than in GSP (not that it does exist there)... so, rail is essentially going to be more effective for Chas and Cola than GSP.

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the paper the other day had an article about express bus service starting jan. 22. maybe this could be the test to see if commuter rail is really necessary in charleston. if the express bus service fails, then more than likely a commuter rail system would fail too. i dont know why, but people around here wont leave the cars at home.

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Welcome to the forum, andrewsc!

I tend to see the ridership of buses vs. trains as different. We pretty much know that lower income folks/minorities tend to dominate the bus system in just about any city/metro area. However, it's usually a different story for rail. I'm very interested in seeing the future demographic makeup of the ridership of the light rail line under construction in Charlotte (even though I pretty much already know how it will shake down, particularly in light of all of this TOD development popping up around rail stops).

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Keep in mind that express bus service/commuter rail serve a different purpose from city bus service/light rail. Establishing an express bus service is a good prerequisite to building a commuter rail system. Using Charlotte as an example it has a commuter rail line proposed where there are now 5 express bus lines, with two suburban bus stations, with packed buses leaving every 10 minutes. This was from 0 ten years ago.

The express buses got suburbanites interested in transit to the center of the city. People will ride the buses because they don't have to pay for expensive parking in downtown, and they can read or do other things instead of fighting traffic. And at $1.25/ride, its a bargain compared to the costs of operating a car.

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Welcome to the forum andrewsc!

Here is that article from the P&C.

It says that CARTA will start to offer express bus service from James Island, West Ashely, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant on Jan 22. It will have 4 stops downtown. You can see a PDF map here. They need to offer a discount to people who buy month passes or some other kind of incentive to ride.

The interesting part is that commuter rail would not serve any of these areas, except for North Charleston. The commuter rail would serve the more outlying areas like Summerville and Monck's Corner, at least initially.

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