Getting Around Grad School: A Graduate Student’s Guide to CARTA

Curious about how to best navigate to and from campus as a graduate student? Getting Around Grad School is our three-part series on the various transportation options available to graduate students at UCSC.

Credit: CARTA

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority, or CARTA, is a regional public transit service that has various routes that bring commuters in and out of downtown Charleston. As a UCSC student, all rides on all CARTA routes are free when you show your Cougar Card to the driver as you board the bus. No separate passes are required! This post aims to outline the major routes most commonly used by graduate students to travel to and around downtown Charleston.

Express Routes:

Live outside of the Downtown area? Express Routes are available from major areas around the greater Charleston Area.

Credit: Post & Courier

XP1: James Island – North Charleston

Express Route 1 serves residents of North Charleston and James Island, with through stops in downtown Charleston. Southbound runs from the Rivers Avenue Park & Ride near the Northwoods Mall in North Charleston to campus via the 547 Calhoun St. & St. Philip St. stop, and continues on to the Folly Road Walmart in James Island. Northbound runs the reverse.

XP2: Mt. Pleasant – West Ashley

Express Route 2 serves residents of Mount Pleasant and West Ashley, with through stops in downtown Charleston. Eastbound runs from the Citadel Mall in West Ashley to campus via the 547 Calhoun St. & St. Philip St. stop, continuing on to the Market at Oakland Walmart in Mount Pleasant. The Westbound runs the reverse.

XP3: Dorchester Rd / Summerville

Express Route 3 serves residents of Summerville and downtown Charleston, with through stops in North Charleston including Boeing and Joint Base Charleston. Southbound runs from the Dorchester Village Shopping Center in Summerville to campus via the 547 Calhoun St. & St. Philip St. stop, continuing on to the 575 Calhoun St. & Jonathan Lucas St. (far side) stop. The Eastbound runs from the 575 stop to the Dorchester Village Shopping Center, with no stop at campus. However, the 575 stop is a short 10-minute walk from campus.

DASH Routes

DASH routes are free rides available to anyone downtown. These routes service parking garages and other points of interest in the downtown areas of Calhoun, King, and Meeting Streets. Stops available vary by day of the week and by time of year, with more stops available during September-April.

Credit: Mega Anorak via Flickr

210 College of Charleston / Aquarium (Orange Line)

The 210 route runs along Calhoun Street from the Visitors’ Center, to the College of Charleston, and ends at the South Carolina Aquarium. Weekdays during the semester (September-April), buses depart the Aquarium starting from 6:28am until 9:53pm, with buses leaving approximately every 10-30 minutes. The final bus arrives back at the Aquarium at 10:16pm. Stops near campus include the 547 Calhoun St. & St. Philip St. stop, and the 545 Wentworth St. & Coming St. stop. The route picks up near the AG  garage and Harbor Walk, with stops near the bookstore, PG garage, WG garage, and Cougar Mall.

211 Meeting / King (Green Line)

The 211 route runs through the historic district from the Visitors’ Center, to the Charleston Market, Waterfront Part, and back to the Visitors’ Center. Weekday stops near campus include the 561 King St. & Calhoun St. stop, and the 552 King St. & Wentworth St. stop. Buses depart the Visitors’ Center weekdays beginning at 7:26am until 8:45pm, with buses leaving approximately every 10-20 minutes. The final bus arrives at the Visitors’ Center at 8:45pm.

213 Lockwood / Calhoun (Purple Line)

The 213 route runs through the medical district, the College of Charleston, and out to Brittlebank Park on Lockwood Avenue, where the Riley Center for Livable Communities is located. Weekdays, buses depart the 52 Mary St. & Meeting St. stop starting at 6:20am until 8:35pm, with buses leaving approximately every 40 minutes. The first bus departs at the 547 Calhoun St. & St. Philip St. stop, servicing our main downtown campus at 6:36am, and the final departs at 8:51pm. Students looking to stop at the Riley Center for Livable Communities should use the 487 Britlebank Park stop. Students parked at the LK parking lot can use this line to get to campus, but should allow 20-30 minutes to get to campus from that parking lot via the 487 Brittlebank Park stop.

 

Looking for other commuting options? Future posts will cover campus parking options and biking to campus from a student perspective!

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