Hartsville area sees steady increase in public transportation
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 to give Hartsville residents a new travel option for getting to work, school, medical appointments, shopping or recreation.
The HART service began in May 2019 with 286 riders for the 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 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 in late 2018, MARTi ridership has grown from 323 riders in December 2018 to 1,514 riders in October 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 lifesaver for many,” Strickland said.
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 2-5 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 near future. The MARTi service has several 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.; 7-9 p.m.).