Being in South Carolina is a great thing. There are beaches, palm trees, sweet tea and much more. The College of Charleston is in the heart of downtown Charleston. Downtown is about a 15-minute drive to one of the best beaches, Folly Beach. You think it would be nice and easy to get to the beach, but it isn't.
Take an Uber, you would think. Uber is very convenient and all, but it can get pricey. On the weekends, Uber can be as much as $30 one way to the beach, totaling to about $60 round trip. It is cheaper to bring more friends along and split the price, but college students shouldn't have to spend money to go to the beach if it's so close.
There is a public bus system, CARTA, that is free for college students. It can take you from Downtown to Mt. Pleasant to the Citadel or even West Ashley. There is one route that takes you to Folly Road, but the stop is about a 45 minute walk to the beach pier.
Storytime: Some of my friends and I took the route that brings us the closest to the beach... it didn't end very well. The bus stops are in the middle of a highway or in the middle of nowhere. We first got dropped off at the Greater St. Mathews Temple because we got lost, then had to Uber to the beach from there, which was about $15. On the way back, we took an Uber to another bus stop which was $10.
The bus stop on the way back was in the middle of a highway and my two friends and I were waiting on the side of the road for about 30 minutes. An old man also stopped and asked us where we were going, we looked like hitch-hikers or homeless college students, lost on the highway with backpacks. So even though we took the closest bus route to the beach, it still cost us $25.
The moral of the story is, it shouldn't be so hard to get to the beach at a reasonable price. A few years ago, CARTA had a route that took people right to the beach pier. Why would they cancel such a popular and easy route? CARTA, please bring back the Folly Beach route.