Coast RTA seeks funding from Horry County to pay for different projects

Coast RTA seeks funding from Horry County to pay for different projects

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Your taxes might go up if Horry County agrees to help with additional funding for the Coast RTA pay.

That funding Coast RTA is asking about is to simply do more with the transit system we have now in our region.

Board members say with that extra money they can offer some of the benefits a real transit system can provide, but they can't implement new projects if they can't maintain the changes.

Coast RTA board members are meeting with Horry County leaders tomorrow in a budget meeting to present these ideas.

The first conversation could result in more money out of your pocket.

"I really don't care how or where it comes from," Coast RTA General manager Brian Piascik said.

One plan, to generate the extra funding through sales tax something Horry County is considering.

Right now you pay about $4 a year to Coast RTA.

Brian Piascik, the general manager says a $40 increase would be ideal.

"If we got 10 times that amount we could get some really good benefits out of our transit system and I'm not saying that it's going to happen this year, but it's something that we need to work towards," Piascik said.

Benefits like adding a new building with a bus lift closer to the Intracoastal Waterway.

"From our perspectives most of our services are over by the Coast and we should try to serve it from the Coast," Piascik said.

Piascik also wants to expand bus routes.

"We want to get service back in North Myrtle Beach, areas like Loris, Aynor, Bucksport and those type of areas and in order to do that we need to expand," Piascik said.

But that would require adding more buses which is another need on the list.

"The average age of our bus fleet right now is about 11 years old and normal life cycle for a bus is 12 so they're really getting close to the end of their life," Piascik said.

Marking bus tops on the streets is another big priority to add more visibility.

"We've had instances like in the Tanger Outlet malls where three people could see each other and we had to stop at each three locations instead of picking up those people all at once," Piascik said.

Coast RTA doesn't expect any immediate answers from Horry County.

Board members say they're just pleased the county will at least listen to and support their proposal.

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