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Hartsville, Marlboro Counties see steady increase in public transportation

on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. Posted in Good life, News, Local News

Growing ridership on the HART and MARTi systems highlight the need for public transportation options in the Pee Dee area.

The HART service, provided by Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA), was designed specifically to give Hartsville residents a great new travel option for getting to work, school, medical appointments, shopping or recreation.

The HART service began in May of 2019 with 286 riders for the entire month. In just one month’s time, the ridership had more than doubled at 683. The numbers continued to increase through the summer, culminating in 1,424 people using the service in the month of October.

“We are very pleased with the growth of the Hartsville Transit as ridership continues to strengthen month after month,” said PDRTA Executive Director Don Strickland. “Many stakeholders came together to make this project possible and it is exciting to show them the return on their investment.”

Much like the HART transportation service, the MARTi service in Marlboro County has seen continued growth, as well. Since the service started back in late 2018, MARTi ridership has grown from 323 riders in December of 2018 to 1,514 riders in October of 2019.

Strickland said the service in Marlboro County has given local residents a service to get to work, increase their education and make medical appointments.

“The MARTi Service in Marlboro County has proven to be a life saver for many,” Strickland said. “Citizens in Bennettsville, Clio, McColl, and Blenheim are using the service to reach work, medical appointments, education, and shopping I look forward to the continued growth and improvement in quality of life for those in Marlboro County.”

The HART and MARTi services are a product of collaboration between the PDRTA and several community organizations in both Darlington and Marlboro Counties. The PDRTA is an active member in the Darlington County Coordinating Council and will give updates and reports at the council’s meetings.

The HART service runs 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Thanks to a private donation, the service will have extended hours in the very near future. The MARTi service has several different routes, including Bennettsville Routes A-B (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), McColl-Bennettsville-Clio (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Marlboro County Demand Response (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Mohawk Commuter Service (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 7p.m. to 9 p.m.).

Service hours are likely to change in the near future but interested riders can check pdrta.org, download the mobile App, or call 843-665-2227 for up-to-date route information.

Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority was officially formed in June 1974 as the first RTA in the state of South Carolina. For 30 years PDRTA has served the six county Pee Dee regions of Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marion and Marlboro Counties.