WILSON – The city of Wilson’s new RIDE program, an on-demand ridesharing service, is now being recognized nationally by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, or AASHTO.
The AASHTO Innovation Initiative seeks to identify and champion focus technologies: innovations and processes that yield significant economic or qualitive benefits to transit system users.
RIDE, which started operation in September, is an on-demand ridesharing service done in partnership with Via. Users can schedule trips through an app or online and will be met by a RIDE vehicle to bring them to their stop. Along the way, the RIDE vehicle may stop to pick up other passengers heading in the same direction, similar to a smart bus.
In the three months it has been operational, and despite opening in the midst of a pandemic, RIDE’s ridership has already surpassed the city’s pre-pandemic fixed route daily average.
“The city of Wilson is honored to be selected by AASHTO for their Innovation Initiative,” said Rodger Lentz, Wilson’s Chief Planning Officer. “In partnership with NCDOT and Via, the opportunity to highlight the emerging technology of microtransit and its application in smaller cities and rural areas is exciting and shows once again that Wilson is a leader in technology advancement not only in North Carolina, but around the country.”
In August, NCDOT, in partnership with the city of Wilson, was awarded $250,000 from the Federal Transit Administration’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant to help fund the RIDE program.