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Mount Pleasant, SC- Candidates for Congress in the SC-1 special election will join members of the East Cooper based Hungryneck Straphangers public transit advocacy group on their second Congressional Candidates on CARTA ride on Wednesday, February 13.  Republicans Ted Larkin and Elizabeth Moffly have committed to ride.  All candidates have been invited.  The ride starts at 4 pm at the MUSC Express Bus Stop on the South Side of Calhoun Street near Barre Street.  Full information can be found at www.busec.org or you may call (843) 870-5299.

Last week candidates Teddy Turner (R), Jonathan Hoffman (R) and Larry Carter Center (G) all braved a cold, pouring rain to get a first hand view of our local transit system.  They traveled out from Charleston on the Mt. Pleasant Express Line, met with CARTA Board and Mount Pleasant Town Council Member Linda Page, waited at an unsheltered stop near Bowman Road and returned to Charleston on the #40 local Mount Pleasant bus.  (Turner inspected the 40 bus before heading to another campaign event.)

Each campaign got a packet of information on the transit system on the major issues impacting the region’s over 5000 daily transit riders: the delays in construction of the long planned N. Charleston intermodal center which would link CARTA transit, Amtrak, Greyhound, Car Rental and the Airport and the need to restore Federal Transportation funding to it’s historic 20% share after a cut to 18% last year in a year when transit ridership across the US increased by over 5%.  The Straphangers work with a national group, Americans for Transit, which is organizing the 30 million transit riders across the US to become transit focused, active voters.

According to Straphanger’s coordinator William Hamilton, “We hope every candidate will take advantage of the opportunity to ride with us and learn about the system.  Shortly before the general election, we’ll launch a voter activation campaign to provide riders with information about where the candidates stand on public transit which will build on the two years of transit voter registration and education activity that we’ve been involved in here.”

The Hungryneck Straphangers will continue to hold rides with candidates until all the interested campaigns have participated.  The campaign of Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) and Gene Platt (G) have both indicated a desire to ride.

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