TriCounty Link: public
transportation for all ages!
TriCounty Link drivers
are very friendly!
TriCounty Link partnered with Channel 5
to collect toys for Debi's Kids.
The TriCounty Link system is comprised of 9 regular fixed routes and 4 commuter routes that provide services to rural residents of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. The system also includes Medicaid transport, adult daycare transportation and other various contracts with private companies.
The current fleet consists of 49 vehicles that seat from 14 to 32 passengers. All TriCounty Link vehicles are ADA compliant and include wheelchair lifts, and on average, two wheelchair tie-down positions per vehicle.
TriCounty Link offers nine fixed routes
and a flag-stop system.
While each of the nine fixed routes follows a published schedule, each route also includes a route deviation option. The driver may go off the fixed route up to one-quarter mile to pick up customers that cannot meet the bus at designated stop locations. We are also a “flag-stop” system and will pick up customers between the scheduled stops along each of the fixed routes.
Fixed-route fare-paying passengers are required to pay the standard fare for each trip. The current fare for all TriCounty Link routes is $2.25 per trip. Customers may purchase a weekly pass for $18 or a monthly pass for $70.
In 1996, Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties agreed to invest in the cost for the startup of a rural transit service for the residents of the region. The Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Rural Transportation Management Authority (BCD-RTMA) was created to operate this service. The BCD-RTMA service was implemented to provide a home-to-work option for rural residents with an investment of just $30,000 per year per county. The funding from the three counties was programmed to last only three years, after which we were tasked with becoming self-sufficient. Over the past thirteen years the BCD-RTMA has succeeded in becoming independent through various service changes and by providing contract service to several agencies throughout the region. Until the half-cent sales tax was approved in Charleston County, the BCD-RTMA had not received funding from any of the counties in the region since its initial start up.
Transfer agreement with CARTA
customers to pay one fare each way when
transferring between the rural & urban systems.
In late 2007, the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Rural Transportation Management Association (BCD-RTMA) changed its operating name to better describe the service it provides and to be more visible in the communities being served. Since being established, our system has grown from a single-county service to one that is taking on the challenges of serving three counties more effectively. Founded on the premise of being self-sustaining, TriCounty Link celebrated its 13th birthday in July 2009.
Recognizing the importance of creating a more seamless transportation network, TriCounty Link management approached the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) board of directors and requested approval of a transfer agreement that would allow customers to pay one fare each way when transferring between the rural and urban transportation systems. The transfer agreement was implemented in January 2007 and has been very successful.
Mt. Pleasant to McClellanville
TriCounty Link at Walmart,
just one of the stops on
the new Mt. Pleasant to McClellanville route.
With the assistance of a small percentage of the Charleston County half-cent sales tax a new route was implemented serving the Highway 17 North corridor from Mt. Pleasant to McClellanville. The new route was introduced in September 2007 in coordination with the unveiling of the agency’s new image. In response to customer requests, weekend service was implemented in December 2007.
ribbon cutting ceremony.
Charleston County Council’s commitment to providing half-cent sales tax revenue has also allowed the TriCounty Link to implement two routes on rural John’s Island. The new routes were implemented on January 18, 2008 along two heavily traveled corridors. The service not only connects residents with the urban system at Citadel Mall but also allows them to shop, visit the library, go to medical appointments, and run errands on the island. With the implementation of the new rural service in Charleston County, considering the current Edisto rural route and the urban system, Charleston County residents now have more transit options than any other county in the state.
Mixed Bag of Transit Services
TriCounty Link is a mixed bag of transit services. Currently we offer 9 regular fixed routes throughout the tri-county area, as well as 4 commuter routes and Medicaid service in Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Overall the TriCounty Link had a thirty-nine percent (39%) increase in riders for the 2005-2006 fiscal year as compared to the previous fiscal year. Of the more than 46,000 additional contract passengers during the 2005-2006 fiscal year, over 33,000 were added from the Dorchester County Medicaid contract services. The addition of contract services, such as this, has enabled us to continue to grow and succeed.
TriCounty Link earns top honor of
Public Transit Provider of the Year
This is an exciting time for the TriCounty Link team. At the 2008 Transportation Association of South Carolina (TASC) conference the TriCounty Link took the top honor of Public Transit Provider of the Year. In addition, Executive Director William Hutto received the Director’s Award which is awarded at the discretion of the director of the South Carolina Department of Transportation Mass Transit Division.
We were also proud to report that our partner, the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments (BCD-COG) received an SCDOT Special Services Award for outstanding transit service accomplishment. The BCD-COG has been an avid supporter of good transportation planning in our region and we are fortunate to have such an excellent working relationship with them. All three awards are very competitive and highly coveted in the South Carolina public transportation industry. The TriCounty Link received recognition for the awards in the Charleston Post and Courier and on the on-line version of Metro Magazine and in the June 2008 edition of Community Transportation Magazine.