Lowcountry Rapid Transit Project Gets Key Federal Approval, 30% of Design Plans Complete

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A project to bring rapid bus transportation to the Lowcountry is now several steps away from completion.

This month, the Federal Transit Administration approved the Environmental Document for the Lowcountry Rapid Transit System. This document, which examines the potential negative impacts on the community and the natural environment, took two years of work, said Sharon Hollis, senior transit planner for the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments.

“This is an important step and a requirement for us to move on to the next phase of the project,” she said.

The 30% design plans, including start and end points and station locations, are also complete.

The 30% design plans, including start and end points and station locations, are also complete.(Lowcountry Rapid Transit)

“The 30% design gives us the information we need to really fine-tune our costs and schedule with the project, so that’s the process we’re going through,” Hollis said.

As that design work continues, Katie Zimmerman, executive director of Charleston Moves, said the focus needs to be on improvements to the walking and cycling network for rapid transit to really work.

“The project is not going to be successful if people cannot walk or cycle safely to the stations, you know, you have to be able to use the system safely,” she said. “So this is the perfect opportunity to really dig into the details and get a lot of these intersection improvements, the designs for them, done right. “

Overall, she supports the project, saying it will give people options other than driving, which will take more cars off the roads and reduce traffic while increasing the mobility of people like her who don’t have car.

“When we have a choice in transportation, it gives people the opportunity to have access to jobs, to housing that they can afford instead of having to drive until they qualify. “she said.

Currently, the system is expected to open to the public at the end of 2026.

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