New Route 32 service allows cyclists and pedestrians free passage over North Bridge | Credit: CARTA

CARTA started a new free service Sunday for cyclists and pedestrians traveling over the North Bridge between North Charleston and West Ashley. Currently, there’s no way to safely cross the bridge without riding in a vehicle.

The new service allows free transport between bus stops on either side of the bridge using Route 32. Service frequency for Route 32 will also be doubled, running every half hour Monday through Saturday and every hour Sunday.

For live-updated stop information, check the Transit app or your phone’s maps app.

Cyclists will have normal access to bike racks on the front of every CARTA bus, but as part of the Route 32 improvements, bikes will also be allowed on board the bus for the ride over the bridge. Major stops on Route 32 include the Rivers Avenue Superstop as well as Ashley Landing Mall and Citadel Mall.

“Increasing the frequency of Route 32 and allowing bikes on the 32 bus as needed are important and appreciated steps toward a better, more accessible North Bridge crossing for all,” said Katie Zimmerman, executive director of Charleston Moves, in a press release.

The new service coincides with Charleston Moves’ awareness event Saturday afternoon, which saw hundreds of cyclists ride over the bridge with a police escort to demonstrate local support for the addition of safe non-car passage over the North Bridge.

Charleston County’s Better North Bridge project is currently studying how to improve pedestrian accommodations around the bridge, with the possibility of adding a dedicated bike and pedestrian bridge running parallel with the North Bridge. A few miles down-river, the City of Charleston is working with the feds on a dedicated pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River connecting downtown and West Ashley.