Message from SGA President Isaiah Nelson regarding the Folly Trolley
In the past few weeks, there has been some confusion regarding the current status of the Folly Trolley. I want to update you with what has been going on regarding this route over the last few months and what the future holds regarding this route.
As many of you know, two years ago the SGA began work with CARTA and the City of Folly Beach to extend CARTA Route 31 roughly 3 miles to the end of Folly Road. We worked with the CARTA Board of Directors to extend this route on two trail periods during the Spring and Fall of 2009. The extension of the route ran three times a day and served Folly Beach on weekends.
Obviously, this extension was a welcome addition to the CARTA routes for the College of Charleston students, Charleston residents, and tourists of our city alike. However, the CARTA Board of Director’s expressed fears of the stress the extension put on the route each weekend it ran, despite the strong ridership numbers the route was producing. The Board felt that after two trail periods they needed to either make the route a permanent fixture on their schedule or scrap the route altogether.
We went back to the CARTA Board of Directors this spring to request the Board to vote to bring back the route in a more permanent fashion (running from May-September every weekend). With the SGA at this meeting, we had the support of three candidates from Folly’s City Council Elections, members of the current Folly City Council, a petition signed by over 25% of the population of Folly Beach to make the case to the Board that this route was needed and made sense.
While some of the board members saw the benefits of this route, recent budget cuts from the County of Charleston to CARTA’s budget made the Board feel it was financially unsuitable to have the route continue in the near future. CARTA is currently struggling with keeping all of their routes on the road, and they are not in a time nor position at this point to add new routes to the schedule.
While we do not have the route at the present moment, we are still committed to working with CARTA and the City of Folly Beach to bring this route back at some point in the future. We were encouraged by the comments that many of the board members made last spring and hope that we will be able to garner support again for the route in the future.
I would like to thank everyone for their support and concern regarding the Folly Trolley. We will do all we can to bring this service back to you and to continue to improve your College of Charleston experience each and every day. If you have any comments or questions or me, please call (703-475-0886) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) at your convenience.
President of the Student Body