5 minutes Date Launched: Oct 11, 2021 Pilot Project Timeframe: 1 year
Credit: North Carolina Department of Transportation
Wave Transit (aka. Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority) has launched RideMICRO, a new point-to-point demand response transportation (DRT) service. Key partner agencies for this project include Brunswick Transit System, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), and Pender Adult Services. Bus.com and Moovit are the vendors for this project. Currently, in Phase 1 of its pilot, customers can request shared rides between two zones across northern Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover counties in the Wilmington area. Customers can only request rides by phone at this time. Hours of operation are from 6 to 9 AM and from 4:30 to 7:30 PM. In Phases 2, 3, and 4, RideMICRO’s service will expand to new zones and more hours of the day and customers will become able to book and pay for their rides through the Wave Transit app or website. RideMICRO rides are fare-free for the first 30 days in each zone expansion. Vehicles can accommodate over a dozen passengers at a time.
NCDOT is supporting RideMICRO with a $600,000 grant. Wave Transit and its partners are piloting this service so that people living outside of Wave Transit’s fixed-route service area have better access to public transportation. Microtransit can often be a more efficient mobility solution in lower-density and rural areas. Wave Transit has already applied for additional funding to support RideMICRO beyond the initial one-year grant. RideMICRO can serve as a model for how microtransit can integrate into a broader public transportation system.