Mount Pleasant, SC, USA- We need to stand up for Open, Public Transit Planning East of the Cooper Tonight, Nov. 12, 2012, 6 pm at Mount Pleasant Town Hall.
Last night something very serious happened in Mount Pleasant. We need your help to be sure it never happens again.
As you know, the Hungryneck Straphangers plan to attend tonight's meeting of Mount Pleasant Town Council to discuss the need for better bus stops East of the Cooper. We'll be at Mount Pleasant Town Hall at 6 pm. We need as many people to be there as possible.
I regret to inform transit advocates East of the Cooper that for reasons unknown to either myself or Linda Page, a public hearing about changes to our bus routes was held by CARTA last night at Mount Pleasant Town Hall. Only three people were in attendance. Neither I nor Linda Page was aware of this meeting.
I was a passenger on the#40 bus yesterday morning and no notices were distributed. We did find a notice buried on the CARTA website. This meeting was not announced at last month's CARTA board meeting where we attended and there was no indication that it was going to be held in the next few weeks. We had been promised by CARTA's hired consultant that we would be involved in the planning process.
The East Cooper area provides 40% of the sale tax income which supports CARTA, but receives a much smaller percentage of the transit services. We subsidize the rest of the county. As a community, we have put far more time and effort into developing our transit system and building ridership than anywhere else in the county. We were just
instrumental in putting together the team in Columbia which helped pass their transit referendum.
Holding a meeting with no real effort to inform the community is utterly inappropriate The proposed plan ends service on the Northern part of the 401 route and on Sullivan's Island and IOP. Parts of Mount Pleasant may lose Tel-A-Ride coverage.
Important details about the locations of stops and strategies for avoiding requiring riders to cross busy roadways need to be considered. The public had a right to be informed about this meeting and to be involved. As past experience has show, East Cooper would
have been present had the communication systems we've evolved over the past two years been engaged. Federal standards require notice to riders before such meetings were held.
Linda Page plans to ask that another meeting be held, with adequate public notice. We ask you to come to Mount Pleasant Town Hall at 6 pm tonight to join her in that request.
I apologize to the hard working volunteers of our organization for our failure to detect this meeting. I assure you that had we any knowledge of it, we would have turned out riders in force. There is a minimum standard of good faith and diligence required on the part of CARTA. Tonight we'll continue our two year effort to make sure such standards are honored.
For full information on tonight's effort, please see our website at www.busec.org