3.7 million 

The number of CARTA riders as of November

In 2004, CARTA was in big trouble. Total ridership that year was just 890,417, and service had been reduced by 75 percent. There was plenty of speculation that Charleston's public transit would completely disappear.

Four years later, at a time when Columbia's bus system teeters on the edge of dissolution, CARTA is thriving. At November's end, the year's ridership had already reached 3,709,053, a 20.32 percent increase from 2007's total of 3,347,822. If that trend continues this month, CARTA will easily surpass four million bus rides in Charleston for the year, topping their previous best of 3,894,140 in 2001.

Howard Chapman, the executive director of CARTA, says that's attributable to both the willingness of the organization's board to stay the course through rough economic times, and the acquisition of federal grant money. Despite fuel costs of $1.2 million and another $1 million in extra operating costs, CARTA did not cut routes and finished the 2008 fiscal year in the black.

Since this time last year, the number of riders using the service's express runs to travel from West Ashley or Mt. Pleasant to workplaces downtown has doubled to over 40,000. The service has added four buses (12 total), and partners with MUSC, the College of Charleston, Roper Hospital, and the City of Charleston to subsidize the cost of workers' commutes.

The Numbers Issue

  • The Numbers Issue

    We're giving up the digits
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 70

    The number of events at which the Homespun Hoops girls have performed
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • $490,000-$525,000

    The cost of the six Panama houses currently up for sale at the Navy Yard at Noisette.
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 3,000

    The weight in pounds of six iron chairs at the Macaulay Museum of Dental History
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 150-170

    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 2

    Number of ghosts that are fans of Chamber Music Charleston
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • $35 million

    The "asking price" for the newly open, even more recently closed Hard Rock Park
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 200

    The number of guitar picks used by Graham Whorley each year
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 108

    The North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in 2008 by the numbers
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 17,000

    Number of miles traveled so far by the Transit Antenna
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 1.5 million

    The estimated number of pounds of shrimp caught by commercial shrimpers in the Charleston area
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 750,000

    The estimated number of seeds planted by local farmer Rita Bachmann
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 1

    Number of sidewalk opera singers in Charleston
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 47.03

    The number of inches of rain Charleston received so far in 2008
    • Dec 24, 2008
  • 1

    The number of wooden legs at MUSC's Waring Historical Library
    • Dec 24, 2008


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