CARTA to offer free weekend shuttle to Isle of Palms starting later this month

Beach Reach service will run Saturdays, Sundays through early September

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority will resume its Beach Reach Shuttle service later this month.

The agency announced Wednesday the free seasonal park-and-ride shuttle that provides a connection between Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms, will relaunch on May 28.

The service will operate on Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 5, as well as on Memorial, Independence and Labor Days.

“We work hard at CARTA to make sure we’re providing a cost-effective and efficient way of getting people where they need to go – and, in the summer months, that includes the beach,” CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings said. “Thanks to our Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant and Towne Centre partners, we’re able to once again make that happen, and we look forward to re-introducing our riders to the Beach Reach Shuttle.”

Each Saturday, the shuttle will run every hour from 9:15 a.m. (first departure from Towne Centre) to 5:30 p.m. (final departure from Isle of Palms). On Sundays, in order to improve efficiency and ease necessary transfers, the shuttle will run every hour from 9:40 a.m. to 5:55 p.m.

“The Town of Mount Pleasant is proud to stand alongside CARTA, Isle of Palms and our very own Towne Centre to bring the Beach Reach Shuttle back into service,” Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie said. “I hope folks throughout our community and beyond will join us in taking advantage of this exciting opportunity to make the most of this summer.”

“This has been a team effort in the truest sense of the term, and we’re glad to be working alongside our remarkable partners to increase beach access and share the beauty of the Isle of Palms shoreline this summer,” City of Isle of Palms Mayor Philip Pounds said.

Riders should plan to arrive at least five minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Beach Reach riders will be able to board the shuttle at stop No. 715, behind the Belk Men’s store in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, and disembark at 9th Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, adjacent to the Isle of Palms beach access.

Parking will be available along Market Center Boulevard in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. Connections to Route 40 Mount Pleasant and Route 42 Wando Circulator will also be available.

CARTA provided the following rules for the shuttle service:

  • All drinks must be in spill-proof containers. A cup with a spill-proof lid is sufficient per CARTA system policy.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed on any CARTA vehicles.
  • Limited bags and large items are allowed. Riders may bring up to four regular shopping-sized bags.
  • Items brought on board must be held by riders or stowed safely beneath the seat. Items may not block the aisle or prevent seats from being used by other passengers at any time.
  • No large, bulky items are allowed, including, but not limited to: tents, large beach umbrellas, surfboards, etc.
  • Items such as chairs, small umbrellas, and boogie or body-boards are allowed but must adhere to the size-related rules listed above. Coolers are welcome, but must also adhere to the aforementioned policies.
  • Shoes/flip-flops, pants/shorts and a shirt are required while riding the bus. Cover-ups are also acceptable.
  • Riders who have not fully dried off when departing the beach must sit on a towel or mat once aboard the bus.
  • Bikes should be placed on the bike rack located at the front of the bus and are not allowed inside the vehicle at any time.
  • No eating while aboard. As mentioned above, drinks are permitted only in spill-proof containers.

Full route details and bus tracking can be found in the Transit App, which is available for download in the Apple and Google Play stores. Riders can also view traffic conditions and municipal information for all area beaches via the Beach Reach app, which is also available for Apple and Google smartphones.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Patrick Phillips

Patrick joined the Live 5 News team in October 2006.