Coast RTA's Myrtle Beach to Georgetown route gets a makeover

The Grand Strand's bus service is making changes to one of its most popular routes.

Coast RTA's Myrtle Beach to Georgetown route carries up to 8,000 riders during the month of July alone.

But the agency's officials say the main pickup and dropoff point in Georgetown is in an unsafe location and there have been complaints about litter and people loitering at the site.

Also, buses are forced to turn left across two lanes of traffic on one of the busiest streets in town to get to the stop.

"That's a rule in transit. You're not supposed to make left hand turns unless you have a signal light to assist you with getting across those lanes of traffic," said Coast RTA deputy general manager Felicia Beaty.

After hearing from riders at a town hall meeting, the bus service decided to make several changes on the Georgetown route, including a new transfer stop in a safer location.

That route isn't the only one the bus service is looking to change and safety isn't the only reason.

Coast RTA officials are evaluating all of their routes, hoping to save money.

"We're looking to eliminate some of those unnecessary stops where we're not picking up any passengers, because those stops actually incur a lot of miles that we can eliminate and probably save us dollars," said Beaty.

Beaty says at some places along the US 701 portion of the route, passengers had to walk two to three miles to catch a bus. At the same time, other stops may have been easier to get to, but didn't attract any passengers.

The bus service will test out the changes starting September 1.

Beaty says Coast RTA will also look to make changes to its Highway 17 Business route in Mytle Beach.