Some emergency management organizations are comparing the traffic related to next Monday's total solar eclipse to what the Lowcounty would see during a hurricane evacuation.
It's an issue local law enforcement agencies are taking seriously as they prepare for the influx of drivers and keeping area roads and highways safe. It's also an issue that's front of mind for CARTA in Charleston as more drivers on the road will have an obvious impact on public bus transportation.
As the moon crosses the path between the sun and Earth on August 21, CARTA service will be temporarily halted. Officials say it's a safety precaution for the 12 minutes of totality that could be a dangerous distraction for some drivers. CARTA will also be handing out eclipse glasses to riders who would like to step off the bus and view the natural wonder.
"With a record-setting number of vehicles hitting the road, our riders' safety remains paramount and we're preparing accordingly," said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. "We look forward to the solar eclipse and also invite seniors to ride free on August 21 in honor of National Senior Citizen Day."
CARTA service updates for Monday, August 21 include:
- Delays during and after the eclipse which will take place between 1:17 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. The total eclipse will take place at 2:46 p.m. until 2:48 p.m.
- For safety reasons all CARTA services will hold in place starting at 2:41 p.m. and will remain on hold until around 2:53 p.m. This means buses will stop at a predetermined, designated safe location along the route for about 10 minutes.
- Drivers will provide eclipse glasses to passengers on board the bus at the time of the event to view the eclipse. Passengers will be allowed to disembark to view the event (passengers are not required to get off the bus).
- Passengers will need to re-board the bus around 2:50 p.m. and quickly be seated so the bus can prepare to resume service.
- Free transportation for seniors in honor of National Senior Citizens Day. Those over the age of 55 must present a valid ID upon boarding.
For more information on the solar eclipse service updates, visit www.ridecarta.com/totalsolareclipsechs or call (843) 724-7420.