Greenlink – the public transit system serving Greenville County, South Carolina – is a central part of our community’s future.
Over the last several years, a steady process of research, planning, developing buy in, making logical improvements, and growing investment from diverse sources has demonstrated that is a rising star, that it has reinvented itself to be a system of the future, and that it’s essential to the people who ride it now and that it can be a vital piece of our growth, development, and sustainable infrastructure.
The staff leaders at the helm of Greenlink as well as several members of the Greenville Transit Authority board are primarily responsible for this great progress. But the original catalyst and continued accelerant of Greenlink’s success have been outside partners and allies who believe in transit in Greenville County. Philanthropy (including the Piedmont Health Foundation, Hollingworth Funds, the Jolley Foundation, and the Graham Foundation), business (including the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Michelin, and our local health care systems), the faith community, and community leaders have come together to support better transit. This fairly decentralized partnership has been sufficient thus far to grow Greenlink’s revenues for operations and capital and, as a result, the quality of its service for riders.
However, for Greenlink to make a leap to be a key player in Greenville County’s future mobility, a quarterback for community partnership is needed. Greenville Connects is the platform for that success.
PHF releases transportation and mobility study. James Keel joins Greenlink as General Manager of transportation.
Other new staff come on board at Greenlink, and several new members are appointed to GTA board
PHF local revenue study released, which shifted understanding around our transit system’s deficiencies being a result of poor management to woeful lack of local funding. PHF launches transit field trips to expose nonriders to the transit experience.
Greenlink secures funding for Proterra buses and launches an Intelligent Transit System with help from Hollingsworth Funds and The Graham Foundation. Greenlink starts Comprehensive Operational Analysis.
Greenlink completes a Transit Development Plan and wins a $11 million federal grant for a new maintenance facility.
PHF hosts Greenville Faces: Transit photo competition with sponsorship from the Jolley Foundation and assembles first advocacy partners among riders and allies.
Advocacy efforts formalize under Greenville Connects, a partnership of Greenville Chamber, Hollingsworth Funds, GTA board members, and others.
Impact Greenville, led by PHF, hosts transit forum with 250 attendees, the first such large session focused on transit.
Greenlink launches mobile pay, allowing riders to pay on their smart phones, payment cards with a monthly cap on maximum payment, and route changes to better serve customers.
Advocacy efforts result in first significant funding increase for Greenlink in decades. Lt. Gov hosts a summit on transit in partnership with Greenlink and PHF.
In an effort to recruit drivers to expand hours, Greenlink hires a CDL driver trainer. Land for new maintenance facility approved by Greenville County Council.
Greenlink’s Transit Development Plan and its impact
Greenlink’s Transit Development Plan, which serves as the basis for all of its service changes and expansions, was developed in 2018 after significant input from riders and community members. The next steps in the plan are those most desired by riders and the most likely to have a significant impact on ridership. Securing on-going operational funding will ensure the plan remains on target.
- Extend Saturday service from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm
- Estimated 38,352 more rides per year
- Open new maintenance facility
- Purchase new vehicles for 30-minute service
- Improve all weekday routes to 30-minute frequency
- Improve all Saturday routes to 30-minute frequency
- Estimated 63,000 more rides per year
- Add Sunday service with 60-minute frequency during 12 hr span
- Estimated 71,000 more rides per year