Transportation

South Carolina's Upstate, with more than 225 miles of interstate, is served by two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-26 as well as other major interstate spurs including I-185, I-385, and I-585. Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, the major airport in the region, provides more than 150 daily flights. Anderson, Clemson, Gaffney, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union have smaller airfields. AMTRAK rail service along the Crescent Line stops in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Clemson. CSX and Norfolk Southern also provide cargo and freight lines as part of the Upstate rail system.

Public transit services in the Upstate include the following:

  • Clemson Area Transit - Serves areas of Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties, including Clemson, Pendleton, and Seneca. This is a free service.
  • Electric City Transit - Serves Anderson.
  • Greenlink - Serves Greenville County with 11 fixed routes. All Greenlink buses are wheelchair accessible, and each bus is equipped with a bike rack. The Greenlink system also offers GAP, a complimentary ADA paratransit service provided for individuals who, because of their disability, are unable to use Greenlink's fixed route bus service. Greenville County students ride free between 7-9 a.m. and 2-4:30 p.m.
  • Greenwood Connection - Daily round-trips connect Edgefield, Trenton, and Johnston to a variety of medical, shopping, and recreational facilities in Greenwood from Monday through Friday.
  • Spartanburg Area Regional Transit Agency - Serves Spartanburg County with complementary service for riders with physical disabilities).

Transportation Planning

SCDOT adopted the SC Comprehensive Multimodal Long-Range Transportation Plan in 2008. This plan makes investment recommendations for transportation facilities that total $48.3 billion statewide through 2030, including $42 billion for highways $5.3 billion for transit and passenger rail and $1 billion for safety needs. However, existing federal and state transportation funds are limited to approximately $19 million, leaving a projected 20 year funding shortfall of over $29 billion.

Three separate metropolitan transportation planning organizations serve the Upstate, including Anderson Area Transportation Study, Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study, and Spartanburg Area Transportation Study. These groups work with state and local governments, the private sector and citizens of the region to plan coordinated transportation systems in the urbanized areas of the region. The region's three COGs (Appalachian Council of Governments, Upper Savannah Council of Governments and the Catawba Council of Governments) are responsible for transportation planning in the non-urban areas of their respective regions.

Transportation Infrastructure Costs (Ballpark Figures)

SC DOT has provided the following figures to use in determining the cost of some types of transportation infrastructure. It should be noted, however, that the cost can vary greatly depending on such factors as terrain and the cost of the actual right of way.

Light Rail

$40 million per mile
(range is anywhere from $15 to $100 million per mile. High speed rail averages $80 million per mile)

 Bus Rapid Transit

$10 million per mile
(range is anywhere from $4 million per mile if operating in mixed use traffic to $20 million per mile or more, if using a dedicated bus way)

 Reconstructing or New Interstate Interchange

$40 million Bike/Pedestrian Pathways - $250,000 per mile (if separated from the roadway) Sidewalks - $200,000 per mile

Interstate/Highway or widening 

$20 million per mile  

Primary/Arterial Road Widening 

$8 million per mile

Bike/Pedestrian Pathways

$250,000 per mile (if separated from the roadway)

Sidewalks

$200,000 per mile