Craven CARTS to open new facility next week, will make way for DSS expansion

The new CARTS building located beside the Craven County Judicial Center.

The Craven Area Rural Transit System (CARTS) will hold a ribbon cutting next week to celebrate the opening of its new facility at 1106 Clarks Road in New Bern.

The $1.8 million building, which broke ground last October, is located across from the Craven County Judicial Center. The facility will house the county’s CARTS administration, which was formerly located on Neuse Boulevard, and provide space for the CARTS vans that were formerly parked in front of the Craven County Department of Social Services offices.

CARTS Director Kelly Walker-Cuthrell said she moved into the new Clarks Road building last Wednesday and expected her staff to be fully relocated by July 7. 

According to County Manager Jack Veit, a ribbon cutting for the new CARTS building will be held on Monday, July 17 at 11 a.m. following the regularly scheduled meeting of the Craven County Commissioners. 

Craven County CARTS serves Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties. Transportation services are open to the general public for shopping, bill paying, going to and from work, and other trips.

Transportation for the elderly and disabled is available with no fare for life necessity trips such as medical and other health-related visits.

Office hours at the new facility will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The telephone number for CARTS will remain 252-636-4917.

For questions or more information call the CARTS office or visit

Construction of a new CARTS facility was among the top priorities outlined in the Craven County Facilities Master Plan and Space Needs Assessment that was commissioned from Oakley Collier Architects. The recommendations, which cover priorities stretching over a 10-year period, were presented to the Craven County Board of Commissioners in 2019.

According to Veit, the relocation of the CARTS building and buses will also make another of the plan’s recommendations the expansion of the county DSS buildingpossible.

Veit said the county is planning to use approximately $10 million in American Rescue Plan money for the DSS expansion project, which calls for a two-story building on the existing site that would measure 20,000 square feet on each floor. 

Veit said he hopes to see the construction of the new DSS building begin by the fall of 2023.

According to Assistant County Manager Gene Hodges, the DSS expansion will be funded through American Rescue Plan Act money the county received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board of commissioners have approved a construction manager contract with Barnhill Contracting Company as well as a pre-construction fee of $195,000 for the initial portion of the construction phase. 

By Todd Wetherington, co-editor. Send an email with questions or comments.