Wheelchair Accessible Transportation
There are a variety of very wheelchair friendly transportation options in and around Charleston. Whether you are looking to visit city attractions or tour one of the many local landmarks - your guaranteed an accessible, comfortable transportation experience. Below you will find the information you need to make Charleston easily accessible.
Are you looking to purchase an accessible van? Watch my video review before you shop? You will be shocked with my conclusions.
Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority
36 John Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Phone: (843) 724-7304
CARTA operates Charleston’s public transportation system covering the metro area of Charleston South Carolina. CARTA is South Carolina’s largest public transportation provider and ranks as one of the top systems in the region with well over 4 million rides taken on CARTA each year.
CARTA is funded in part by FTA and SCDOT. CARTA also receives local funding from farebox revenue and from the Charleston County ½ cent sales tax. CARTA is subject to the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), and federal, state and local laws.
Jim's Comments: All CARTA fixed route buses are wheelchair accessible and meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
Accessible Van Rentals
8550 Rivers Ave
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: (843) 576-0414
Jim's Comments: Accessible van rentals are a bit expensive and cost $100-$150 per day plus mileage. Many charge an additional $50-$90 for airport delivery and pick-up services. Some rental companies will not add hand controls or provide transfer/swivel seats, preferring to rent to able bodied persons who drive persons confined to wheelchairs.
Charleston Trolley (DASH)
36 John Street Charleston, SC 29403
Phone: (843) 724-7420
The Trolley (DASH) service is operated by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) in the Historic Peninsula area of the Charleston. The trolley is wheelchair accessible with fold-out ramps and is free. Trolley Map.
This site provides information about how the system can take you almost anywhere your life takes you in the Charleston Metro area including work, shopping, hospitals, schools, and much more.
Jim's Comments: The Trolley system is really old and many cars are due to be replaced in 2017. While it's not always reliable, the existing system is accessible and it's free.
Absolute Charleston Taxi Limousine
Phone: (843) 571-7554
Jim's Comments: It's surprisingly but Charleston has no taxi companies that offer a wheelchair accessible taxi. I have listed one company above, Absolute Charleston Taxi, that has one accessible vehicle. Theodore operates this company. He provides airport and local service as well as tours and seems quite helpful. I also spoke to Charleston Black Cab Company which provides limos, wedding and private tour services but they do not have an accessible vehicle in the fleet. I have not tried Uber in Charleston but it's worthy a try and they are starting to offer accessible vehicles in certain cites. Visit Uber
Amtrak North Charleston Station
4565 Gaynor Avenue,
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: (800) 872-7245
Jim's Comments: Amtrak is essentially owned and operated by the U.S. Government. It is very aware of ADA regulations and is quite accommodating of wheelchairs. Seating for wheelchairs is limited so call in advance and inform Amtrak of any special needs. Seating is on the lower level on specific railway cars equipped with fully ADA compliant restrooms.
- Certain cars are also equipped for overnight wheelchair passenger sleeping. There is a small separate room which includes an accessible bathroom.
- All trains are accessible from the loading platform by a removable ramp which the conductor puts in place for wheelchair passengers.
- Dining and lounge areas are on the second level and are not generally accessible. Conductors, however, are available to bring food and beverages to passengers requiring assistance.