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How to Get Around Charleston Without Driving

South Carolina, a port city, was founded in 1670. Fort Sumter, a historic landmark, is reputed to be where the first shot of the Civil War was fired across the water. Although a modern city, some quarters of the city still have horse-drawn carriages and cobblestone streets. The city offers private vehicles and public transit systems, taxicabs and rideshares, and water taxis and ferries. The Battery districts and the French Quarter, famous for their pastel-colored antebellum houses, as well as The Battery promenade, Waterfront Park, and Charleston Harbor, reflect Charleston’s rich cultural history

The CARTA Transit System

Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) offers four main ways to get around the Charleston Metropolitan area:


Flex Service

Express commuter service

The Trolley that serves the Historic Peninsula

CARTA Buses- Metro Buses charge $2.00 fares. If one uses the buses regularly and doesn't qualify for discount rates, it’s cheaper to get monthly passes for the month, because this will also cover Premium services and Express routes, which would usually cost an additional dollar. Exceptions in fare rates are made for low-income passengers and disabled patrons, with low-income passengers paying $1.25 and disabled patrons paying $0.75.

Riding The Trolley- DASH Trolleys are free and the route passes most of Charleston’s attractions like restaurants, local beaches, shops, and historic sites.

Tel-A-Ride- Tel-A-Ride is a special curb-to-curb transportation service for disabled people who aren’t able to use the regular bus services. Passengers share the ride with others who are going in the same direction. All vehicles are lift-equipped for wheelchair passengers.

Charleston’s Taxi Services

Amongst the oldest taxi services is Yellow Cab, which has served Charleston for over 50 years. Meanwhile, ranked among the fastest growing new taxi services is Charleston Green Taxi, which was started by a graduate of the College of Charleston Business School. When it was first launched in 2007 on a Memorial Day weekend, five drivers managed three vehicles, but now this taxi company has 50 drivers and 30 taxis.

Specialty Senior Transportation Services

ITNCharlestonTrident, Charleston’s Independent Transportation Network, may be the most convenient way for independent seniors to get around Charleston if they don’t want to use public transit or taxis, or ask family or friends for a ride. Seniors can use it to keep doctor appointments or go to social events. The fees are affordable, the drivers courteous, and the rides safe. Customers say that everything from timely pickups to billing is well-coordinated.

Ride-Sharing Services

Uber and Lyft are the most popular providers of ridesharing services because of their affordable rates.

Personalized Help With Rides In Charleston

A national volunteer organization called Help the Elderly is a useful resource for seniors who need help with rides. Volunteers can help seniors understand how to use the public transit system. They are also open to helping seniors who need short trips, who need help with errands, who need to do some grocery shopping, or who need transportation to a doctor’s appointment.

Learn more about Charleston Senior Services here:

Charleston Concierge Services

Charleston Rehab Centers

Charleston Senior Centers

Charleston Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

Charleston Hospitals

Things to Do in Charleston

Senior-Friendly Workplaces in Charleston

Charleston Veterans Support Groups

Find assisted living in Charleston near you.