HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Certain Coast RTA buses will follow different routes and have an extended service schedule starting Friday morning.
Coast RTA held a series of public meetings in January and February to get opinions on the bus service from passengers.
Service will now last until 8 p.m. daily.
In addition to schedule and route changes, Coast RTA plans to phase out flag stops, implement designated stops with signage and add a smart phone program that will enable riders to track their bus in real time.
Coast RTA released the following information about the changes for the spring schedule:
1. Route 10 – Route 10, which leaves the Myrtle Beach Transfer Station and includes Broadway at the Beach and Coastal Grand Mall has been modified to accommodate the local Myrtle Beach neighborhoods and no longer serves the Myrtle Beach International Airport (see Route 15 South for new service to the Airport). Service will be provided from the Myrtle Beach Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily.
2. Route 15 North (to 82nd and Grand Strand Hospital) – Route 15 North leaves the Myrtle Beach Transfer Station and has moved all bus stops to Kings Highway (Highway 17 Business) from Ninth Avenue North to 38th Avenue North. Route 15 North will continue to serve designated bus stops along Ocean Boulevard from 38th Avenue North to 82nd Avenue North. Service will be provided from the Transfer Station from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily.
3. Route 15 South (to The Market Common) – Route 15 South has been modified to serve South Kings Highway (Highway 17 Business) instead of Ocean Boulevard. Major destinations include the Myrtle Beach International Airport (both inbound and outbound), as well as The Market Common locations: Warbird Park, HGTC Grand Strand Campus, Piggly Wiggly and the Veterans Administration Clinic. Service will be provided from the Transfer Station from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily.
4. Route 16 – Route 16 modifications include new service to Tidelands Health Georgetown Memorial Hospital as a designated bus stop and moving service/designated stops to the U.S. 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet. As of April 1, Route 16 moves all service from U.S. 17 Business/Restaurant Row in Murrells Inlet to U.S. 17 Business. The realignments have incorporated additional physicians' offices and services along "Medical Mile," including Tidelands Health Waccamaw Community Hospital, which will be serviced by Route 16. Travel time between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach has been reduced by 18 minutes. Route 16 service is provided from the Georgetown Transfer Station from 6:15 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily.
5. Route 21 aka Entertainment Shuttle - (Serves Broadway at the Beach and downtown tourist attractions). This free service runs Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 11 a.m., to 11 p.m., daily. Service will continue along Ocean Boulevard and serve select key attractions but does not visit the Myrtle Beach Transfer Station.
Alignments on Routes 1, 7, 7 Express and 16 Express will remain unchanged at this time.
With daily service expansion until 8 p.m., the following route schedule will apply as daily operating hours for each route: The initial morning schedules remain unchanged. For Route 1, the last bus leaves Conway Terminal at 6 p.m.; for route 7, the last bus leaves the Myrtle Beach Transfer Station at 8 p.m.; for route 7X, the last bus leaves Myrtle Beach Transfer Station at 8 p.m; and for Route 16/16X, the last bus from Myrtle Beach to Georgetown leaves at 6:30 p.m., and the last bus from Georgetown to Conway leaves at 8 p.m.
Routes 7X and 16X will have limited daily service. For a full schedule of each Coast RTA route, click here.