The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) recently unveiled a brand-new fleet of seven Downtown Shuttle (DASH) vehicles to improve commuting around the peninsula and accommodate increasing ridership in time for the busy holiday season.
NewFlyer MiDi buses are 30 feet long, 8 feet in width and can house 50 passengers at a time. Made in America, the each unit cost $335,000, the expense allayed by funds from the city of Charleston matched by the federal government.
"We’re delighted with the purchase of these new vehicles and understand how important this improved experience will be for local workers, residents, students and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year," CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings said. "With a fresh look featuring Charleston’s iconic pineapple for hospitality, we look forward to making downtown more accessible and navigable."
Each DASH bus features spacious windows to improve views, quiet fuel-efficient engines, two entrance doors, accessibility ramps, cushioned seats and improved air conditioning. The fleet replaces trolleys that were 17 years old, upgrading comfort, safety and capacity with extra floor space. Additionally, structural enhancements to the chassis enable easier navigation along local corridors.
“CARTA and public transit are playing an increasingly important role in Charleston,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said, noting that the city recognized the necessity of the DASH fleet upgrade. “[We] look forward to further regional collaboration.”