After four years at the College of Charleston, this girl knows what it's like to be late for a very important date. Ask my professors, my employers, my friends, whoever! It's not an issue of me being sluggish, it's traffic and parking and having a flat tire on my bike and any other excuses that are actually pretty legitimate. So here's the lowdown on different ways to get to where you're going, so you don't have to rush around checking your pocket watch every 10 seconds.
Luckily our town is small enough that you can get most places if you have the time to take a hike. But if you're wanting to go to Folly or the movies or somewhere else, you're gonna need to explore other options.
Cheap, effective, great source of exercise. Not always the most comfortable mode of transportation in the sweltering summer heat, but they always do the job. Always lock that sucker up, though, because bikes are hot commodities and they will get stolen if left out in the open for too long. The College of Charleston has tons of bike racks on campus, but out of respect to those on foot, try to walk it when you're on those brick pathways. The roads are for pedaling.
If you like the green approach but don't want to do the work yourself, you could always hop on one of these. They're basically all the same thing but with different colored uniforms. The guys and gals who pedal these around are doing a lot of work, so this isn't always the absolute cheapest method. It is fun, though, and generally a safer way to get home from the bar than walking without your shoes down Market Street (yuk!). Charleston Rickshaw Co. (843-723-5685, charlestonrickshaw.com) and Charleston Pedicab (843-577-7088, 1charlestonpedicab.com) both charge $4.50 per person, per 10 minutes.
During the hot, hot summer and the cold, cold winter, cabs are awfully nice. And there are different types for everybody. We have the British-style Black Cab Company (843-216-1206, charlestonblackcabcompany.com) for nights out on the town, which will run you about $10 if you stay on the peninsula. On the other hand, Green Taxi (843-819-0846, charlestongreentaxi.com) picks you up in ecologically sound vehicles that are also economical for most college kids ($7-$15 if you stay downtown). However, if you want the old standard, there's Yellow Cab (843-577-6565, yellowcab.com) which is cheap and reliable — the meter begins at $2, and it costs $1.75 per mile. Once the bars close, just head to a main thoroughfare for these and other reliable options — Just avoid the unmarked cabs. Trust us. And remember, CofC's Saferide program allows you to ride free of charge if you're stranded on a lonely night somewhere you don't want to be.
Public transportation is an oft-overlooked method of getting safely, quickly, and cheaply to your destination. Many CARTA (843-747-0007, ridecarta.com) routes are covered by CofC, including the recent addition of one out to Folly Beach. Plus, who doesn't want to ride around in one of those cute downtown trolleys that looks like something out of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood? The regular fare is just $1.50 for the fixed-route buses and downtown area shuttles.
If you do have a car, there can be difficulties. Sophomores and above are eligible for parking in one of the school's lots. Your apartment may have its own driveway or lot, but oftentimes you'll want to get a downtown parking pass to avoid doing the car shuffle with your roommates every morning. Luckily, the College of Charleston has a nice list on their website of places to buy parking spaces. Sundays are the one day with no ticketing at meters, but be advised that every other day parking police are on the patrol. Park illegally in a residential area or go over the time on your meter and they will ticket you. And you will have to pay.