Update on the proposed Lowcountry Rapid Transit system in Charleston, SC

Rendering of a station along the LCRT | Provided by Lowcountry Rapid Transit

Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments was recently awarded $860,000 to plan for transit-oriented development along its proposed 21.5-mile Lowcountry Rapid Transit line.

Let’s back up. What’s the Lowcountry Rapid Transit? This is a proposal for SC’s first mass-transit system — which would run from Ladson, to North Charleston, to downtown Charleston. What’s transit-oriented development? It’s a way for communities to develop around transit with better access to everyday needs like jobs, health care, education, and food.

The Federal Transit Administration’s grant will be applied to Phase 2 of transit-oriented development planning. This phase will create a plan for equitably developing commercial, residential, office, and entertainment spaces around the Rapid Transit. This will be accomplished using tools developed in Phase 1 — including fiscal impacts and benefits analysis + affordable housing adoption.  

The plan is to use the grant to create walkable, mixed-use communities in the Lowcountry that have access to public transportation. The goal is to reduce pollution, increase economic opportunity, and improve access to affordable housing in the process.

Essentially, the Rapid Transit and its surrounding developments are intended to meet the need for an improved public transportation system and address the lack of affordable housing amid rapid growth in the Charleston area. Learn more about the Lowcountry Rapid Transit here.