BCDCOG Receives National Innovation Award for Hop Park-And-Ride Shuttle

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THE CARTA SERVICE WAS INCLUDED AMONG 90 PROJECTS NATIONALLY

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (Nov. 26, 2018) – The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) has been nationally recognized for its work spearheading the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) Hospitality on Peninsula (HOP) Shuttle.

BCDCOG recently received the 2018 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). The awards program recognizes regional development organizations for improving economic and community competitiveness.

Launched in April of this year via a partnership between the BCDCOG, CARTA, the City of Charleston, Charleston County and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the HOP is the first park-and-ride offering on the Charleston peninsula. The service was developed to assist workers in the hospitality and food and beverage industries who were faced with rising parking meter costs, though the $5-per-day lot and free shuttle are open to anyone.

A recent survey of HOP riders found that 70 percent park their vehicles in the HOP lot, with a majority previously paying an average of $10 per day for parking. To date, 60,0000-plus riders from across the tri-county region have used the service, saving money and obtaining safe, reliable transportation to and from work in the process.

“The HOP showcases what can be accomplished through regional planning and cooperation,” said BCDCOG executive director Ron Mitchum. “Working closely with our partners allowed this innovative service to become a reality and a platform for future success.”

BCDCOG and the HOP were recognized at NADO’s 2018 Annual Training Conference, held in Charlotte, N.C., in October.

“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Awards program recognizes the important and wide-ranging work of regional development organizations in communities across the country,” said 2017-2018 NADO president Doug Elliott, executive director of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, located in Cedar Rapids. “These awards demonstrate the value of regional development organizations and highlight their critical role in promoting economic development for the nation’s rural and small metropolitan communities.”

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies strengthening local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.

ABOUT BCDCOG

The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit www.bcdcog.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BCDCOG.

ABOUT NADO

Since 1967 the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has provided advocacy, education, networking, and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.

 

CARTA Drivers, Notable Residents Compete in Annual Bus “Roadeo” Driving Skills Challenge

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Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority
A BERKELEY-CHARLESTON-DORCHESTER COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS PROGRAM

CARTA DRIVERS, NOTABLE RESIDENTS COMPETE IN ANNUAL BUS “ROADEO” DRIVING SKILLS CHALLENGE
Obstacle course at North Charleston Coliseum to provide stern test

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Oct. 8 2018) – If you think driving in Charleston traffic is hard, try doing it in a 40-foot bus. That’s what a quartet of notable Charlestonians will be tasked with when they join Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) drivers in the transit system’s annual Bus “Roadeo” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

This year’s celebrity drivers are:

  • Matt Lee of the Lee Bros. (Defending Champion)

  • Leyla Gulen, Anchor/Host, FOX 24

  • Charlie James, Radio Host, WTMA

  • Jamee Haley, Executive Director, Lowcountry Local First

“Our drivers are highly skilled and this is a chance for them to showcase their talent,” said CARTA board of directors chairman Mike Seekings. “At the same time, the notable residents illustrate what a true challenge it is to operate these vehicles in an open parking lot, much less the crowded streets and highways of Charleston.”

Obstacle stations include: Offset Street, Right/Left Turn, Right/Left Reverse, Passenger Pickup, the ominous-sounding Serpentine, and crowd favorite Diminishing Clearance.

CARTA drivers will be competing for a berth in the statewide “Roadeo” in early 2019. For the non-pros, eternal glory is up for grabs. The event is open to the media and the public. The first buses roll at 8 a.m. in the North Charleston Coliseum E parking lot. Celebrity competition kicks off at 10 a.m.

ABOUT CARTA

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app and the CARTA Bus Tracker.

CARTA’s Latest Tech Updates Include RideCARTA.com Live Chat and Upgraded Transit App

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NEW EFFORT ALIGNS WITH BCDCOG’S PUSH TO USE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY

CHARLESTON, S.C. (SEPT. 18, 2018) – The Charleston Regional Transportation

Authority (CARTA) has added a “live chat” feature to its website, providing an additional way for riders to connect with customer support online and in real-time. The new tool, which was recently soft-launched, has spurred a reduction in call volume and the use of static contact forms by riders.

“This feature is a key tool in improving the overall rider experience and providing an additional customer service outlet,” said CARTA board of directors chairman Mike Seekings. “Better technology is helping us lay the foundation for immediate and long-term transportation success in the Lowcountry.”

HOW IT WORKS:

  • The live chat option automatically appears in the bottom right of specific web pages, where customers most likely have questions: Home, FAQs, Contact, Fares and Passes, etc.

  • Customers click on the “Live Chat” button and enter name, phone and email (optional).

  • Customers enter the queue and a customer service representative selects and begins the chat session.

  • The Live Chat function is available during regular customer support hours, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. During off hours, the system allows riders to submit emails that representatives will respond to promptly.

  • At end of every session, customers are offered a feedback survey.

CARTA mobile app partner, Transit, also released its highly anticipated 5.0 update with a refreshed home screen and new features.

NEW FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Search Bar: Now located at the bottom of the screen for ease-of-use.

  • Instant ETAs: The Transit app now predicts where riders are most likely heading next and provides an instant arrival time to make planning a trip easy.

  • All-in-One Route Information: Tap any transit line on the home screen to see that route’s schedule, service alerts and map with vehicle locations and stop ETAs.

Transit is available for free download in the Google Play and the Apple App Store.

ABOUT CARTA
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app and the CARTA Bus Tracker.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

CARTA Completes Replacement of DASH Bus Fleet; Ride Along with Senator Marlon Kimpson

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MEDIA ALERT:? CARTA COMPLETES REPLACEMENT OF DASH BUS FLEET; RIDE ALONG WITH SEN. MARLON KIMPSON, WHO SECURED VEHICLE FUNDING

WHAT: The CARTA Downtown Area (DASH) shuttle fleet is now complete with the addition of two buses secured through state funding made available by Sen. Marlon Kimpson. Ride along with Sen. Kimpson and other elected officials on one of the vehicle’s first trips and discuss the region’s transportation future.

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 24, 1:30 p.m.

WHO:?? South Carolina Senator Marlon Kimpson
???????????? Mike Seekings, CARTA Board Chairman
?? ? ? ? ? ? CARTA Board of Directors

WHERE: 999 Morrison Drive (HOP parking lot). To arrange interviews, please email dbrock@rawlemurdy.com or call (919) 820-2612.

WHY: Unveiling the final pieces of the DASH fleet and speaking with a state-level representative about the future of transit in the Lowcountry.

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MEDIA CONTACT:??? ??? ???
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

CARTA’s HOP Shuttle Sets Ridership Record for Third Consecutive Month, Surpasses 10,000 for the First Time

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HOP SHUTTLE SETS RIDERSHIP RECORD FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE MONTH, SURPASSES 10,000 FOR THE FIRST TIME

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AUG. 7, 2018) – Ridership on the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority’s?Hospitality on Peninsula (HOP) Shuttle surpassed 10,000 in July, the third-straight record-setting month for the pilot park-and-ride program.

“There is clear demand and need for this service, which has proven particularly valuable to the hospitality and food and beverages industries,” said CARTA board chairman Mike Seekings. “We hope that the resources necessary to continue the HOP’s momentum will be made available by the partners, both public and private, who have benefited from it, and that the program can be expanded to other parts of the city in the future.”

The park-and-ride program is the first of its kind on the peninsula and was brought to fruition via a collaborative partnership between the City of Charleston, Charleston County, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. Total ridership on the HOP in July was 10,015.

Service is currently scheduled for about every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 3 a.m., seven days per week. Visitors to downtown Charleston and all commuters are encouraged to park all day for just $5 and ride the HOP shuttle for free.

Seekings noted that the HOP will be a convenient option starting this fall for College of Charleston students who live off the peninsula and drive downtown. Riders can track buses in real-time on the Transit app?available on iPhone and Android.

ABOUT CARTA
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app and the CARTA Bus Tracker.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

Town of Mount Pleasant, BCDCOG Conducting Transit Study

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TOWN OF MOUNT PLEASANT, BCDCOG CONDUCTING TRANSIT STUDY –? PHASE I WILL FOCUS ON COMMUNITY’S TRANSPORTATION NEEDS AND DESIRES

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (JULY 27, 2017) – The Town of Mount Pleasant and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments are partnering on a town-wide transit study, with Phase I to focus on the public transportation needs and desires of residents and businesses.

An online survey is available through Aug. 17 here (https://surveymonkey.com/r/mtptransit).? Paper copies of the survey are available at Mount Pleasant Town Hall. A public open house will be held Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 3 – 7 p.m. in the Town Hall foyer to share findings and gather input on what future transit service should look like in Mount Pleasant.

“It’s very important to us that we offer service where there is demand and need,” said BCDCOG Executive Director Ron Mitchum. “Our goal is to put the right service in the right area at the right time, and one way to ensure we achieve that is to speak directly with riders and would-be riders.”

Those who would like to stay updated on the study or have specific questions are asked to email BCDCOG principal planner Sharon Hollis at sharonh@bcdcog.com. Recent CARTA outreach has included discussions regarding service with officials of Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, as well as residents of Daniel Island.

“Lowcountry residents have realized that public transit and other transportation alternatives are going to have to be in the mix if we’re going to avoid long-term gridlock,” Mitchum said.

ABOUT BCDCOG:

The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit www.bcdcog.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BDCCoG

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

CARTA Adopt-A-Stop Program Expands To Entire Service Area

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CARTA ADOPT-A-STOP PROGRAM EXPANDS TO ENTIRE SERVICE AREA
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HAS RECEIVED $10,000 PALMETTO PRIDE GRANT

CHARLESTON, SC – CARTA’s popular Adopt-A-Stop upkeep program will now be available throughout the agency’s entire service area thanks to a nearly $10,000 Palmetto Pride grant aimed at beautifying bus stops.

Expansion of the program, previously only available at stops located in the City of Charleston, allows for more volunteers to get involved and more of the system’s approximately 1,000 stops to be kept clean. The goal of Adopt-A-Stop is to eliminate litter at the bus stops throughout the area.

How It Works;

  • Individuals, groups, civic organizations and private businesses are encouraged to volunteer

  • Volunteers are asked to service the can and remove litter at least once a week

  • All supplies — including trash can, bags, gloves and more — are provided by CARTA

  • Volunteers are able to choose which stop they adopt

  • Volunteers receive the added benefit of having their name displayed on a sign located at the site of their adopted stop

“The Adopt-A-Stop program is a great way to give back to get involved with your community and, quite honestly, receive some free marketing,” said CARTA Board Chairman Mike Seekings. “This program not only benefits the community, but also plays an integral role in protecting the environment. This program is a plus for riders, businesses and everyone in between. “

The Adopt-A-Stop program in Charleston city limits is operated through a partnership between Keep Charleston Beautiful and CARTA.

To get involved, download an application at ridecarta.com, complete and return it to cruze@ridecarta.com, or mail it to CARTA 1362 McMillan Ave. Suite 100 North Charleston, SC 29405.

ABOUT CARTA
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app and the CARTA Bus Tracker.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

CARTA seeks to set ridership record on National Dump the Pump Day

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PARTNERS ON JUNE 21 INCLUDE HOLY SPOKES, AFFORDABIKE AND MORE

CHARLESTON, S.C. (MAY 15, 2018) – The time for talk is done. On Thursday, June 21, everyone in the Lowcountry can do something about traffic congestion – even if it’s just for one day.

How? The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is leading local efforts to encourage alternative travel methods on National Dump the Pump Day — and the authority will also seek to set a single-day ridership record of more than 20,000.

“CARTA has been steadily improving its efficiency, fleet, amenities and technology,” said CARTA board chairman Mike Seekings. “Dump the Pump Day is the perfect time for residents to give the system a try. We think they’ll like what they find, and we think it will lead to sustained ridership increases.”

CARTA National Dump the Pump Day efforts include:

  • Dump the Pump Pledge: If you’re going to Dump the Pump, put it in writing by signing the Dump the Pump Pledge at ridecarta.com/dumpthepump. Then share it with friends.

  • Dump the Pump Social Media Contest: Signing the Dump the Pump Pledge is also the first step to winning some fabulous prizes. Here’s how it works:

      • Sign the pledge.

      • Download the CARTA-endorsed Transit App in the Apple Store or Google Play.

      • Document your day-of trip with photos on social media using the hashtag. #DumpthePumpCHS

      • The giveaway will be hosted on the CARTA Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and the winner will be chosen by CARTA staff. (Rides on the TriCounty Link system are eligible for entry, as well.)

    • The prize package includes:

      • A brand-new Charleston Chariot bicycle from Dump the Pump partner Affordabike (valued at $250)

      • A year-long CARTA “Golden Ticket” pass

      • A $50 giftcard to the restaurant HoM and more.

  • LowcountryGo: A free, web-based program available to those who want a better way to commute in the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester region. That could mean bus, carpool, vanpool, biking, walking and more.

Those who want to dump the pump can review routes and schedules at ridecarta.com and download the Transit App in the Apple Store or Google Play to help with planning trips and and tracking buses. The timing for Dump the Pump also couldn’t be better: gas prices have increased locally by nearly 30 cents per gallon in three months.

CARTA provides free WiFi and bike racks on buses. Regular fares are just $2 one-way. Express rates are $3.50 and both the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) and Hospitality on Peninsula (HOP) shuttle are free.

“There are really no excuses,” Seekings said. “The Transit app makes it easy, and we’re simply asking people to give CARTA a try for one day and see where it goes from there.”

About National Dump the Pump Day

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2018 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and to take them where they need to go, instead of driving a car.? Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a convenient travel option that also helps people save money.

About CARTA

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit to the Charleston community through fixed routes, Tel-A-Ride/demand service and express routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to download Transit?, the CARTA-approved app, in Google Play or the App Store. Next arrivals can be obtained by calling or texting (843) 202-4410.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

CARTA to Launch Hospitality on Peninsula (HOP) Park-And-Ride Lot and Shuttle Operations – April 15

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CARTA TO LAUNCH HOSPITALITY ON PENINSULA (HOP) PARK-AND-RIDE LOT AND SHUTTLE OPERATIONS APRIL 15

Service will offer extended hours and $5 all-day fee

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 21, 2018) – The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) Board of Directors today announced that the transit system will launch the Hospitality on Peninsula (HOP) Park and Ride Lot and Shuttle on Sunday, April 15 at 999 Morrison Drive.

The park-and-ride program is the first of its kind on the peninsula and was brought to fruition via a collaborative partnership with the City of Charleston, Charleston County, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments.

The HOP is targeted at workers in the area’s booming hospitality and food-and-beverage industries – though it is open to all commuters – as way to mitigate downtown parking challenges. There will be approximately 170 spaces available in the lot.

“The HOP park-and-ride service is an important way we are addressing an obvious need of workers in downtown Charleston,” said CARTA board chairman and Charleston city councilman Mike Seekings. “This lot and shuttle, essentially a pilot program that has been developed from scratch, is the first step in a regional strategy to tackle a number of pressing transportation issues, namely parking and congestion.”

Key details regarding the lot and shuttle service include:

  • Hours of Operation: The shuttle will operate from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily, with bus service every 15 minutes. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Cost: The cost to park in the lot is a flat fee of $5 all-day. Once a pass is purchased and displayed on a parked vehicle’s dashboard, commuters can board a HOP shuttle for free.
  • Route: The HOP shuttle will exit 999 Morrison Drive, turn left onto Romney Street, left onto Meeting Street, left onto Broad Street and left onto East Bay Street as it returns to the lot. There will be eight HOP-specific stops on the route, each denoted by a white bus stop sign.
  • Bus Transportation: CARTA will operate the shuttles and the lot itself. Commuters are encouraged to download the Transit app in order to track buses in real-time.
  • Lot Features:

    • Parking attendant on location during all hours of operation
    • Enhanced lighting and security cameras
    • Holy Spokes bike share on site
    • Bike racks available

“We certainly would like to thank the City of Charleston, Charleston County, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the BCDCOG for their collaboration on this project,” Seekings said. “We’re confident the service will be well-used and look forward to seeing it expand to other locations.”

In addition to the HOP service, Seekings said commuters are also encouraged to explore reduced after-hours fares in City-owned garages and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government’s recently launched Lowcountry Go commuter services program that offers rideshare matches.

ABOUT CARTA
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app and the CARTA Bus Tracker.

 

Big News From CARTA: Launches New Real-Time Mobile App and Texting Service; Previews Website

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CARTA has announced its partnership with Transit, the leading mobile app provider for public transportation.

Riders will now be able to navigate the Charleston area with accurate real-time predictions, simple trip planning, step-by-step navigation, service disruption notifications and departure and stop reminders – and it’s all presented in a clear, bold interface.

Transit is available for free download in the Google Play and the Apple App Store. Download and tell your friends!

For riders without smart phones or Internet service, CARTA also introduced a new SMS texting and phone service. Customers can call or text (843) 202-4410 and provide the stop number of their choice, which can be found on signs at bus stops or online here. An automated system will then relay the next two real-time arrivals for each route servicing the selected stop.

Attached you’ll find a Transit 101 document on usage of the app, as well as photo to use for social media posts. Thanks for your support!

KEY FEATURES OF “TRANSIT”

  • Know when the next bus is arriving with real-time predictions.
  • Plan A-to-B trips with ease.
  • See exactly where buses are on the map in real-time.
  • Launch GO for step-by-step navigation when on an unfamiliar route.
  • Receive departure alarms and stop notifications as well as prompts to pick up the pace in GO.
  • View schedules and route itineraries. Even offline.
  • Check ETAs for the closest Uber and request a ride.

Daniel Brock
Account Supervisor, PR & Social Media
Rawle Murdy
960 Morrison Drive, Suite 300, Charleston, SC ?29403
843.577.7327 ext. 1130,?919.820.2612?(mobile)