RALEIGH – State transportation officials say a new federal grant award of $10.4 million will help expand on-demand transit services for up to 11 North Carolina communities and benefit thousands of North Carolina citizens.
“More than 1 million people in North Carolina live in a household without a car or have other barriers limiting their access to reliable transportation,” said Ryan Brumfield, director of the Division of Integrated Mobility, a unit in the N.C. Department of Transportation. “By expanding on-demand transit services, we take an important step to remove barriers for these individuals. Having a more robust network of multimodal services will connect people to the jobs, educational opportunities, appointments and shopping they need for their daily lives.”
The award comes to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Integrated Mobility Division from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rural Surface Transportation Grant, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The money will be distributed to expand on-demand transit services for people in Alamance, McDowell, Johnston, Randolph, and Rockingham counties, as well as Sanford, Salisbury and Wilson. Other regional community organizations that will benefit are: Kerr Area Regional Transit, Tar River Transit and Wave Transit in Wilmington.
The funding will pay for advanced transit scheduling software deployment and, in some communities, third-party contracts for vehicles and drivers to support the new on-demand services.
The Integrated Mobility Division applied for the funds to expand on-demand transit, in part, because of the success of prior on-demand transit deployments in North Carolina, including the Wilson RIDE service. That service has garnered national attention for its success and positive impacts.