Getting Around Charleston
Don’t have a car? Not to worry. We’ve got you covered.
Charleston is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S. From campus, it’s only 10 minutes on foot to the Cooper River, where you’ll find the South Carolina Aquarium, Waterfront Park and other attractions. Head the other direction and you can be at Brittlebank Park alongside the Ashley River in about the same amount of time. But when you need to go farther, that’s where CARTA comes in.
Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA) manages the bus system around downtown and the greater Charleston area. The good news is that this system has routes that serve the Charleston peninsula, North Charleston, West Ashley, James Island and Mt. Pleasant. But the best news is that on all CARTA buses, students ride for free. That’s right. All you have to do is present your Cougar Card (College of Charleston ID) and you’re good to go.
For full information on CARTA schedules and routes, log on to the CARTA website. And, if you have any trouble determining the best route for your trip on CARTA, just use the CARTA trip planner online. All you have to do is plug in your departure area and your destination and – presto! – the website tells you what bus(es) you’ll need to take.
And, all CARTA buses are equipped with bike racks so you can take your bike with you. Find out more about CARTA’s Rack and Ride program.
If you need two-wheel trasport and you don't own a bike, you can always take advantage of the College's Bike Share program. To participate in the program, you'll have to fill out a brief form the first time, watch a safety video and sign a liability waiver. After that, all you have to do is show your Cougar Card at the Stern Student Center Information Desk and you can check out one of the lightweight Vista Cruisers. (Various hours apply each day, and use of the bikes is only for that particular day.) To see information about various bike routes around Charleston, click here.
Of course, some students prefer to get around by car. If you own a car, you'll need to be aware that you won't be able to obtain a College of Charleston parking permit for campus parking facilities until you have at least 30 credit hours on record with the College registrar. And, if you don't own a car, that's OK because any student can take advantage of the College’s new partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. The Enterprise CarShare program is available to all students 18 years and older who have a valid driver’s license. Vehicles can be reserved by the hour, the day or even overnight for one, all-inclusive rate. You pick the car up on campus and that’s where you leave it. To participate in this program, you need to register and pay an annual fee. For additional information, go to EnterpriseCarShare and click on “University.”