Transportation & Transit
A presentation of the recent Transit Development Plan (TDP) for the Best Friend Express and Dial-a-Ride programs in Aiken County was released on September 20, 2017 and presented to the public by Tindale-Oliver & Associates.
Access to transportation is a key component of a healthy regional economy. The Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG) partners with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to carry out the rural transportation planning process for a six-county region, including Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties. As part of this transportation planning process, we:
- Establish regional goals and objectives
- Identify the current condition of the transportation system
- Provide research and data analysis
- Identify and prioritize transportation needs for input to the Statewide Multi-modal Transportation Plan, State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) and the Lower Savannah Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
- Develop and publish a Long-Range Transportation Plan detailing the annual transportation planning activities that are to be undertaken in support of the goals, objectives and actions established in the plan
The LSCOG Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) provides the forum for cooperative decision making in developing regional transportation plans and programs to meet changing needs. The TAC is composed of elected and appointed officials and staff representing local governments or agencies having an interest or responsibility in comprehensive transportation planning. Staff works with a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which makes project recommendations to the LSCOG Board of Directors, who serves as the Lower Savannah transportation policymaking board.
Transportation Planning staff maintain a close working relationship with SCDOT and are responsible for the recommendation of projects to SCDOT for inclusion in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and for the development and administration of a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) that outlines projects and priorities for a 25-year period. The LSCOG has also developed a regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that contains details on projects in the six-county rural region.
For more information about transportation planning call the Planning Manager at 803.649.7981.
Aging, Disability, and Transportation Resource Center (ADTRC)
Lower Savannah Council of Governments operates South Carolina’s only Aging, Disability and Transportation Resource Center (ADTRC). The Resource Center’s purpose is to inform and assist people in our region about a myriad of topics to support independent, healthy and engaged community living:
- Family care-giving
- Transportation options
The center serves Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg Counties. This center is innovative in that it combines programs relating to public and human service transit with information and assistance to link to other health and human service related resources, benefits and options. ADTRC staff may help people:
- Schedule rides for medical appointments, errands, or to get to work
- Answer questions about how to use local public transit systems
- Negotiate service issues that arise between transit passengers and transit providers
- Advocate for unmet needs for transportation in underserved areas
- Answer questions about aging issues, long term care, family care-giving and a number of benefits and resources, including Medicare.
LSCOG also purchases services for seniors and transportation services from local service providers in each county of the region, and works to coordinate among agencies serving the public. To reach the ADTRC, call 1-866-845-1550.
Activities under the Mobility Management program of LSCOG include:
- Planning and development of transit systems and services in the region
- Work to enhance transit services
- Initiatives to increase coordination of resources
- Providing information to individual members of the public on using transit services in the region
Mobility Management specialists on staff also help individuals to schedule rides on local transit systems and can offer training on using public transit services to groups or individuals. During Fiscal Year 2012, staff handled around 12,000 incoming calls for transportation from the public, and made many more contacts to arrange trips and solve transit problems and customer service issues. For more information or for assistance to find a ride, call 1-866-845-1550 and press 1 for transportation!
Local Transit System Development and Management
LSCOG is the Direct Recipient of federal and state funds for the operation of the Best Friend Express and Dial-a-Ride transit services in the urbanized portion of Aiken County. LSCOG contracts with a local transit provider for the operation of both services. LSCOG helped to plan and start up transit service in Allendale and Bamberg Counties, and takes calls from the public for rides in both systems. The COG also helped to develop and start up new public transit services in Calhoun and Orangeburg Counties the Cross County Connection. This service is a combination of fixed routes and demand response service to accommodate seniors, people with a disability and for other purposes. Fixed routes connect St. Matthews and Orangeburg and serve the downtown area of Orangeburg, including a campus loop which includes service for students at two downtown area Universities.
Using federal transit ARRA funds, LSCOG was able to add a wing onto it office building to accommodate the Aging, Disability and Transportation Resource Center in 2010. ARRA funds through the SC Department of Transportation in 2012 enabled the construction of a $3 million transit facility in downtown Orangeburg to house the two-county transit system and serve as a connection point for passengers transferring from one vehicle to another, to purchase tickets and to get out of inclement weather while waiting to board a bus.
Local Transit System Development and Management
The LSCOG offers transit options in each of the six counties we serve. Choose your county to learn more.
Bike and Pedestrian Resources
The following documents may be helpful when planning bike and pedestrian-friendly solutions in your county:
- Bike and Pedestrian Regional Plan Executive Summary
- Bike and Pedestrian Regional Plan 2012
- Bike and Pedestrian Regional Plan Map
- Bike and Pedestrian Recommended Network
- Barnwell Bike and Walk Friendly Action Plan Summary Poster
- Orangeburg Bike and Walk Friendly Action Plan Summary Poster
Passengers of the Best Friend Express and Dial-a-Ride, please click on the following links (highlighted in light blue) for Title VI Civil Rights Notice, Title VI Complaint Process 2017 and Title VI Complaint Form.
Best Friend Express
USDOT Federal Transit Administration
USDOT Federal Highway Administration
NADO Rural Transportation Research Center
United We Ride
For transit options from Allendale County to the coast
Cross County Connection