City of Charleston to Celebrate Arbor Day with Annual Tree Planting

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In recognition of Arbor Day, the city of Charleston Parks Department will plant several young white flowering Dogwood trees along the newly renovated section of the West Ashley Bikeway, where it intersects with Magnolia Road, at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 7, 2018. Eastern Dogwood trees are native to North America and provide flowers in the spring and brilliant red leaves in the fall.

Arbor Day is an international holiday celebrated annually to encourage citizens to plant trees and care for their natural environment. Trees provide numerous environmental benefits including mitigating storm water runoff, cleaning the air of pollutants, offsetting heat effects, and providing homes for wildlife.

For 36 consecutive years, the city of Charleston has been honored as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.? This designation attests to the city’s ongoing commitment to maintaining and expanding its urban forest, as well as protecting and preserving the natural environment.

City of Charleston Director of Parks Jason Kronsberg said, “We are honored to be recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for our continued efforts to care for our natural environment, and are proud to continue that work this year in celebration of Arbor Day.”

Official Press Release from City of Charleston

2018 U.S. News Report on State Rankings Released – South Carolina #42

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The latest U.S. News Report on United States Rankings for 2018 has been released.? Here is how South Carolina faired.

Some telling statistics:

  • South Carolina is ranked #48 in the United States in Education
  • Ranked #41 in Healthcare
  • Ranked #41 in Crime and Corrections
  • South Carolina is #39 in Opportunity
  • $25,751 – Median State Salary
  • 37% college educated
  • Overall Ranking:? #42
  • Very healthy economy ranking #15 in the country
  • 80.3% of our high school students graduate
  • Increased from #45 in 2017 to #42 in 2018
  • Energy from renewable sources:? 8.6% (National Average:? 9.5%)
  • Major roadways in poor condition – 18.6% (National Average – 22%)
  • Commute time:? 24.7 Minutes (National Average – 26.6 Minutes)

Full Detailed Report

Overall Ranking

Healthcare Ranking

Economy Ranking

Report Card – Overall

Infrastructure

Exhibition – Southbound: Photographs of and About the New South (City Gallery and Halsey) – Through February 20, 2019

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The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and City Gallery at Waterfront Park present Southbound: Photographs of and About the New South, debuting at both locations on October 19. This unprecedented exhibition represents the largest showing to date of photography that explores the twenty-first century American South. Displayed simultaneously at the Halsey Institute and at City Gallery, Southbound remains on view through March 2, 2019. The exhibition has been co-curated by Mark Sloan, director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and Mark Long, professor of political science, both of whom are on faculty at the College of Charleston.

Southbound comprises fifty-six photographers’ visions of the South over the first decades of the twenty-first century. Accordingly, it offers a composite image of the region. The photographs echo stories told about the South as a bastion of tradition, as a region remade through Americanization and globalization, and as a land full of surprising realities. The project’s purpose is to investigate senses of place in the South that congeal, however fleetingly, in the spaces between the photographers’ looking, their images, and our own preexisting ideas about the region.

These exhibits are free for all

Official Event Website and Details

Army Corps dedicates $41M to deepen South Carolina harbor

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday announced the release of more than $40 million to help deepen a South Carolina harbor, bringing total federal funding for the project to $108 million thus far.

The Army Corps announced that it was dedicating $41.4 million to deepen the Charleston Harbor to 52 feet (16 meters), a project that will make it the deepest on the East Coast.

50 feet (15 meters) so the Port of Charleston can handle a new generation of larger container ships that are becoming more popular in global shipping.

South Carolina State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome has said that handling larger ships without waiting for high tides so they can reach the docks is a key to the competitiveness of the state’s ports, a sentiment he echoed in a statement Wednesday.

“This depth advantage is vitally important for significant long-term volume growth and the deployment of large container ships,” Newsome said. “We are very grateful for the dedication and hard work by many to keep this project moving forward at record speed.”

In 2014, the Army Corps released a long-awaited draft feasibility study and environmental impact statement on a deepening project, proposing that it would cost just over a half-billion dollars, higher than the $350 million previously suggested. Officials have estimated the project could take anywhere from three to six years.

Construction to deepen the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel to 54 feet (16 meters) began in February after the first two dredging contracts were awarded.

The federal share of the more than $500 million total project cost is an estimated $166 million, and Newsome has said the port needs about $90 million in federal funds each year for three years to stay on schedule.

The South Carolina General Assembly has put aside $300 million for the work, plus made available a $50 million loan to be paid back by the federal government.

Both U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott lauded the effort. In a news release, Gov. Henry McMaster said the port expansion is “an investment in our entire state’s future,” with so many goods moving through the area.

“When companies see that we are committed to our infrastructure, they have reason to be more confident in their investment in our communities, which means more jobs for our people,” McMaster said. “The Charleston Harbor becoming the deepest on the East Coast will one day be seen as one of the most impactful moments in South Carolina’s prosperous economic future.”

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Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

8th Annual Shuck-A-Rama Set for January 18 to Benefit the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina

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COLUMBIA, S.C.—The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina (BIASC) will be hosting its 8th Annual

Shuck-A-Rama on Fri., January 18, 2019 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed in Charleston, S.C. Shuck-A-Rama is the annual Lowcountry fundraising event for BIASC, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to provide critical help and support to persons with brain injury and their families, educating the public on the risks and impact of brain injury, and advocating for legislation, and improving community-based services.

“Shuck-A-Rama is one of the best events of the year, and there’s no better city to host this than Charleston,” said Joyce Davis, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina. “We look forward to delicious food, incredible company, and an overall special evening to support those affected by brain injury.”

Shuck-A-Rama will include an oyster roast, chicken and white bean chili, beer and wine, live music, and an oyster-themed silent auction.

Tickets to the 8th?Annual Shuck-A-Rama are $40 each and may be purchased on Eventbrite, by visiting the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina’s website at?www.biaofsc.com, or by clicking?here. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities at Shuck-A-Rama, please contact Allison Hall Drew at?allison@startflourishing.com, or by calling (864) 784-7011.

About Brain Injury Association of South Carolina

The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina (BIASC) is a nonprofit organization which was developed by persons with brain injury, their families, and concerned professionals in an effort to provide information and support to those who have experienced a brain injury. The BIASC is South Carolina’s chartered affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America.?BIASC’s mission is to create a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education and advocacy. To learn more, visit?www.biaofsc.com?and follow BIASC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More About The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina

In SC, the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is falls and the second is motor vehicle crashes. There are currently over 61,000 South Carolinians living with a disability as a result TBI. A TBI can affect a person’s cognition, physical functioning, emotional and behavioral functioning. These deficits can range anywhere between mild and severe. A TBI not only affects the individual with the injury, but the whole family.

The Brain Injury Association of SC (BIASC) has been helping individuals with brain injuries and their families/caregivers in SC since 1998. BIASC is the only nonprofit organization in SC dedicated to supporting children and adults with brain injury.? We provide services throughout the state to educate healthcare providers, coaches, athletes, teachers, law enforcement, military about brain injury and the effects brain injury has on the individual as well as their family.? It is important that individuals and their families receive education and information immediately following the injury so the person has a better chance of recovery.

 

Services BIASC provides:

  • Throughthe?SC Visibility Project, the BIASC provides a tote bag filled with information about TBI diagnoses, symptoms, services (including support groups, BIASC toll free help line, Medicaid, DDSN HASCI Division) to moderate to severe TBI patients and their families at our state’s level 1 trauma centers; This project also provides training for law enforcement about brain injury and skills needed when assisting brain injured individuals.?(646 Tote bags given last year, 271 officers trained)
  • BIASC maintains a toll-free helpline, to assure that all persons with brain injuries, their families and professionals are directed to appropriate resources and services. (318 calls and emails last year)
  • BIASC supports eleven brain injury support groups statewide by offering financial assistance and training, allowing these groups to provide peer support for survivors and family members as well as participate in social activities. (2640 participants)
  • BIASC provides education through a statewide conference and other trainings for survivors, family members, and providers. BIASC also provides training to case managers, counselors, nurses, and other providers as requested by state agencies and private providers. (460 participants)
  • BIASC partners with other states in the Unmasking Brain Injury Project. The main goal of this project is to offer brain injury survivors the opportunity to create their own masks and tell their own story.? The masks are displayed in public places for educational and outreach purposes. ?(100 Masks completed)
  • BIASC partners with SC ThinkFirst Injury Prevention Chapters across the state to teach children how to make good choices to avoid experiencing a TBI or Spinal Cord Injury.
  • BIASC provides education about concussion and return to school/activities. BIASC is developing a manual to help families, schools, and medical professionals develop a multidisciplinary team around student/student athlete to help ensure their recovery a concussion.
  • BIASC advocates for brain injury services with the SC legislature by meeting with senators and representatives on issues impacting brain injury survivors and caregivers.
  • BIASC provides information about brain injury diagnosis, symptoms, and recovery through a website, bi-annual newsletter, email list serve and social media.

BIASC is the “voice” of brain injury in SC. BIASC represents the brain injury community by serving on many committees and tasks forces in our state.? BIASC serves on the SC Brain Injury Leadership Council which is our state’s advisory body on brain injury as mandated under SC Law and the federal TBI Act of 1996. SCDDSN Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Division and SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) serve individuals with brain injury who meet their eligibility criteria.? DDSN serves those with multiple limitations and SCVRD serves those who function at a higher level and who want to return to work.? This leaves a large number of people who do not qualify for these services.? These individuals fall between the cracks and are left without services and supports.? BIASC provides help and support to these individuals that fall within this service gap.? BIASC is the only organization in SC who specializes in brain injury and knows what the needs are and the right resources.? No other organization in SC provides the support and understanding of brain injury than we do.

BIASC depends on fundraising events, grants, sponsorships, memberships and donations to operate our statewide office and provide our services.

 

SC Ports State of the Port Emphasizes Importance of Infrastructure Investment to Support Ongoing Growth Projections

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CHARLESTON, SC – October 29, 2018 – Today, South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO, Jim Newsome, presented the annual State of the Port to an audience of approximately 600 customers, elected officials and shipping industry representatives at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Jim’s presentation focused on the Port’s successes, strategic infrastructure investments to support continued container volume growth, new initiatives to increase Port productivity and overall industry trends that will impact the Port in the future. The Propeller Club of Charleston hosted the event which marked Newsome’s tenth address since joining SCPA in 2009.

SC Ports volumes for the 2018 fiscal year, which ran July 2017 through June 2018, were record-breaking. The Port handled 2.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), an increase of three percent over the previous fiscal year. March through June marked the highest months of container volume in the Port’s history. In breakbulk, or non-containerized cargo, Charleston handled 760,501 pier tons during FY2018. Within the breakbulk business segment, SCPA moved 232,390 vehicles across the docks of the Columbus Street Terminal.

Approximately 22 percent of the Port’s container cargo moves via intermodal rail including freight moving to Inland Port Greer which is 212 miles from Charleston in the upstate. The Greer facility achieved 117,812 rail moves in FY18. With the success of Inland Port Greer, SCPA opened Inland Port Dillon, in the northeastern part of the state, in April.

Key financial metrics include operating cash flow of $85 million and nearly $214 million in capital expenditures.

In addition to volume growth, SCPA achieved significant progress of key infrastructure projects in FY2018. The nearly three-year effort to strengthen and refurbish the Wando Welch Terminal wharf was completed in July, which allows the facility to handle three neo-Panamax ships at the same time. Construction on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project to 52 feet, which began in February, is well underway with three Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Company dredges currently at work in the Entrance Channel. The Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal also saw progress in FY18 with the completion of the fill phase, and the SCPA Board approved a $53.8 million contract for construction of the wharf structure for phase one of the facility, which has begun. The new terminal will open in 2021 to accommodate growth of the Port’s containerized cargo business.

“We had a really good year in fiscal year 2018,” Newsome said. “We saw record cargo come through the Port, and we completed the Wando Welch Terminal refurbishment project. We worked together as a team towards a vision of being the preferred port of the top 10 U.S. Ports.”

Looking ahead, the Port will continue to invest heavily to accommodate container volume growth and the efficient handling of big ships. East Coast ports have seen a continued increase in container volumes since the Panama Canal expansion. A nearly $400 million enhancement project is underway at the Wando Welch Terminal. Upon completion, the facility will offer 15 ship-to-shore (STS) cranes with 155 feet of lift height; 65 rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes; 25 empty handlers; 40 gates; a dedicated chassis yard; and optimized operations allowing for a 2.4 million TEUs capacity.

Construction on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project continues to progress, marking a historic accomplishment that will make Charleston the deepest harbor on the East Coast. Newsome announced today that an updated benefit-cost-ratio (BCR) of 3.1 was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which meets the requirements for inclusion in the President’s Budget. The BCR recalculation took several factors into account, highlighting the fact that SCPA’s projected volumes out-performed the estimates used in the original study.

Vital to the Port’s ability to sustain the volumes and revenue required for such investments is the expansion of its cargo base. SCPA closed on the purchase of a nearly 1,000-acre industrial tract in Ridgeville, South Carolina to support import distribution and export growth. The rail-served site offers approximately 750 developable acres for port-related industry use.

Along with investments in the Port’s terminals are enhancements to intermodal efficiency. Newsome said as the Port grows, it must intelligently expand its reach by rail and improve the condition of the chassis fleet through the creation of the Southern States Chassis Pool (SSCP).

“We talk all the time about equipment and investments, but investments alone do not lead us to a winning outcome,” said Newsome. “The best people lead to the best outcomes, and through cooperation and collaboration we have worked together to build this port up. Our future is very bright and our best years are ahead.”

Click to view Jim Newsome’s State of the Port presentation.

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 187,200 statewide jobs and generate nearly $53 billion annual economic activity. SCPA is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet, and the Port is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. For more information on SCPA, please visit www.scspa.com.

Media Contact:
Kelsi Childress
External Affairs Coordinator
SC Ports Authority
843-577-8676
kchildress@scspa.com

Charleston’s The Avian Conservation Center & Partners Bring “Year of the Bird” to Cainhoy Elementary

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Corporate and Foundation partners invest in under-served students, inspired learning, and avian conservation

The Avian Conservation Center, a renowned educational, conservation, and scientific organization in Charleston, has received a $12,500 grant from BP America and a $20,000 grant from the Daniel Island Community Fund to fund the Year of The Bird Program at Cainhoy Elementary School.

In 2018, we commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” and commit to protecting birds today and for the next one hundred years. The need for this focus on avian science and conservation has never been more urgent. Today nearly one in eight species of birds (~12% of all birds worldwide) is at “real” risk of becoming extinct in the next 100 years – 50 times the historical rate.

Building on the Center’s past work at Cainhoy Elementary School funded by BP America, the Year Of The Bird Program will expand the Center’s impact on Cainhoy students from a role of programmatic support to that of cultural transformation. Cainhoy Media Specialist, Ashley Illig, has been designated as a liaison between Cainhoy faculty and the Center’s Education Staff. Illig completed a three-week internship at the Center over the summer, becoming immersed in the Center’s medical, educational, research, and conservation work.

Center educators led a day long Teacher Training Workshop for all Cainhoy Elementary teachers on the Center’s campus in August. During this workshop ornithology curriculum was integrated with problem-based learning and STEAM connections into classroom lesson plans intended for the Cainhoy students. Illig is helping teachers create year-round, hands-on grade level projects for students utilizing this curriculum.

Funding from BP America, the Daniel Island Community Fund, and Coastal Expeditions will provide monthly programs for Cainhoy students conducted by the Avian Conservation Center’s staff. The first of these programs took place at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in September featuring new work by the Italian artist Hitnes. The exhibition is a culmination of The Image Hunter project, in which Hitnes retraced Audubon’s travels in the United States and created work during a residency in Charleston, SC.

Next month students will visit the Center’s campus during fall raptor migration to participate in the annual SC Coastal Raptor Migration Survey. This survey, part of the Hawk Migration Association of North American’s international research on avian migration, will utilize novel radar technology to track migrating birds. Funding from the corporate and foundation partners of this project will make nature and wildlife more accessible to Cainhoy students in a way stimulates a renewed and sustained interest in learning and the STEAM disciplines.

“The decisions we make today directly affect the status of environmental conservation for generations to come. By exposing students to programs incorporating live birds of prey, we are able to encourage active participation in the natural world with a scientific perspective. It is our obligation to assist these young students in developing an understanding and appreciation for our crucial role as stewards of our cherished natural resources,” says Jim Elliott, Founder and Executive Director of the Avian Conservation Center and Center for Birds of Prey.

About the Avian Conservation Center

Founded in 1991 in response to the crucial need of an avian conservation center in South Carolina, the Center utilizes the unique role of wild birds as unsurpassed indicators of the overall health of our ecosystem to preserve the future of the natural world, upon which we all depend. The Center’s mission is to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and shorebirds, and through educational, research and conservation initiatives. The Center for Birds of Prey is the principle operating division of the Avian Conservation Center and is open to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org or call 843.971.7474.

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Contact: Kara Bale
843.606.3400
kara.bale@avianconservationcenter.org

Charleston Parks Conservancy Celebrates Art in the Parks Week with Two Public Events

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Parks Conservancy will celebrate Art in the Parks Week with two events open to the public.?
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An Art in the Parks Reception will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Redux Contemporary Art Center, 1056 King St. The public is invited to hear from Georgia-based artist Joseph Dreher (known as JOEKINGATL). In April, Dreher installed four large-scale sculptures in Hampton Park, kicking off the Conservancy’s Art in the Parks program.?
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The installation – called “Plant Vitae” – is located on the southern edge of Hampton Park along Mary Murray Drive. It represents Charleston residents in a way that celebrates the people and the community. Dreher worked with children from schools near Hampton Park and the local Boys and Girls Club to create the portraits showcased in the final art pieces.
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Dreher will talk about his inspiration and the creative process for these works of art as well as his other artwork. One of his sculptures will be on display in front of Redux Contemporary Art Center. This event is free and open to the public. Light food and drinks will be served.?
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Join the Conservancy for Art in the Parks at Twilight from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at Hampton Park. The public can get one final look at Dreher’s sculptures in the park before they are removed. He also will be on hand to answer questions about the pieces and his artistic process.?
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In addition, live artists will be working during the event, local band Lumberjack Time Traveler will perform, and food will be available for purchase from Blackense Soul Food Hibachi food cart. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.
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The Conservancy launched its Art in the Parks program in 2017, an effort to install temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, including Redux Contemporary Art Center, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and ArtFields. For more information, visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.?
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About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.
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Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:
Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks

South Carolina’s unemployment rate drops to 3.4 percent

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s unemployment rate again dropped slightly last month.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the jobless rate in South Carolina in August was 3.4 percent. That’s down from 3.6 percent in July.

The agency says South Carolina also set a record with more than 2.2 million people working.

Officials say professional and business services added 4,000 jobs, while manufacturing lost 1,500 jobs.

The agency said in a news release that Bamberg County had the highest August unemployment rate at 7.7 percent. Charleston and Lexington counties had the lowest jobless rates at 3.0 percent.

The national unemployment rate was unchanged in August at 3.9 percent.

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