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Coast RTA Opens Facility in Repurposed Building

Thanks to a partnership with the city of Myrtle Beach, SC, the Waccamaw Regional Transportation Authority (Coast RTA) has opened a new transfer center in a 960-square-foot building owned by the city, repurposed by city employees and named for the agency’s founder.

"The Ivory Wilson Transfer Center will enhance the overall Coast RTA customer experience by providing our passengers and the general public with a modern, clean and visually appealing structure that will better accommodate our passengers’ needs,” said General Manager Brian Piascik.

“This new transfer center would not be possible if not for the partnership with the city of Myrtle Beach. We couldn’t be more pleased with their willingness to assist us in obtaining an actual transfer center building for our passengers,” he said. “Using any spare time they had, the public works staff and crew has spent months working on renovating this center for us.”

Wilson, now a Coast RTA board member who also offered remarks at the opening, said, “I’ve always believed that a strong public transportation system is critical for economic development when businesses research areas to relocate. ­Passengers who ride Coast RTA most often are traveling to make money or spend money. Having a reliable bus service is key to connecting Coast RTA’s passengers to pockets of prosperity,” he added.

Wilson was one of three men who began planning in 1980 to provide transportation for residents of two South Carolina counties to places of employment, shopping and medical facilities. The organization entered service three years later as a private nonprofit called the Coastal Rapid Public Transit Authority; it became a public authority under its current name in 1999.

Coast RTA reported a 12 percent ridership increase on its fixed and paratransit routes from November 2015-2016, making the new transfer center essential in meeting passenger needs.

The ADA-compliant, renovated building will serve as the main hub of Coast RTA’s transfers along its fixed routes, replacing several bus shelters along the street. It includes a main customer service lobby, customer service staffing and drivers’ break areas, along with bike parking and benches.

Cutting the ribbon at Coast RTA’s Ivory Wilson Transit Center, from left: Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes; Wilson, agency founder and board member; Joseph Lazzara, chairman of the Coast RTA Board of Directors; and General Manager Brian Piascik.

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