Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) board chairman Mike Seekings and S.C. Sen. Marlon Kimpson were among nine individuals honored by the Transportation Association of South Carolina (TASC) during its annual excellence awards ceremony this month.
Winners were highlighted for their significant achievements and contributions to South Carolina public transportation systems.
The TASC Excellence Awards Program selected the following:
- Mike Seekings, CARTA Board Chairman, Local Elected Official of the Year: Chairman Seekings has been a tireless advocate for CARTA and public transit since his appointment to the board in 2011. He became board chair in 2015, and under his leadership:
- The authority is now debt-free.
- Between 2016 and 2019, CARTA will bring more than 70 new vehicles into its service fleet, including a complete replacement of its Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH), paratransit and Express buses.
- CARTA achieved an on-time performance of 88 percent over the past 12 months. This figure is ahead of the national average for transit systems.
- Marlon Kimpson, State Senator, State Elected Official of the Year: Sen. Kimpson secured $500,000 from the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism – that unlocked a further $900,000 in matching funds – to purchase buses and build 46 shelters, install two benches and add solar lighting at six locations throughout his district, which runs from North Charleston, through the Upper Peninsula and into parts of West Ashley.
- Ed Astle, CARTA Board Member, Urban Board Member of the Year: As a City of North Charleston Council member, Mr. Astle was instrumental in securing $100,000 in city funds to build nine forthcoming bus shelters and install 13 benches in primarily in the Dorchester Road corridor.
Winners were selected through a competitive nomination process and will receive the awards at the TASC Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach earlier in March.“The past two years have seen CARTA take many positive strides as we look to build a solid base for regional public transportation,” said CARTA Executive Director Ron Mitchum. “The public will soon begin to see significant results of this groundwork and we couldn’t make this sort of progress without the support of key leaders such as Sen. Kimpson, chairman Seekings and Mr. Astle.”