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Wilson’s on-demand service RIDE celebrates two years of equitable, flexible public transit

Sept. 6, 2022 (WILSON, NC) — The City of Wilson, North Carolina’s on-demand shared public transit service, RIDE, is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month. Since launching in September 2020, RIDE has served around 260,000 low-cost rides to the Wilson community. 

RIDE was launched with the goal of using technology to expand access to equitable, flexible mobility, and it has proven to do so. Today, 100% of the city is covered by public transportation, compared to only about 40% when the city only had limited fixed-route transit. 

Recent rider survey data has indicated that RIDE provides a critical transportation service for lower-income and transit-dependent riders — 90% reported they do not have a car, almost half earn less than $25k annually, and more than one-third do not have access to a smartphone. 

RIDE’s flexible, software-based model allows riders to book an on-demand ride anywhere in Wilson at a moment’s notice. RIDE is powered by software from Via, the global leader in TransitTech. Via’s intelligent algorithms match multiple RIDE passengers headed in the same direction into a single vehicle for quick and efficient shared trips, without fixed schedules and routes like traditional transportation options. 

The service continues to grow in popularity month-over-month, and July 2022 saw the highest ridership to-date with 16,420 completed rides — more than a 75% increase from July 2021.  As a result of RIDE, Wilson continues to be recognized on a national level as a pioneer of smart public mobility.

“I would like to thank Wilson RIDE and its partners for making the past 2 years such a success story,” said Congressman G. K. Butterfield. “Wilson RIDE is a true example of 21st century transportation, and I look forward to seeing how other communities in North Carolina follow in Wilson's footsteps to use technology to improve access to equitable, efficient public transportation. I am proud of Wilson for pioneering the future of rural public transportation.”

 RIDE has received both state and federal grants to fund service expansions. It has also been recognized for advancing equity by the American Planning Association’s North Carolina chapter, and also won an America’s Transportation Award for “Best Use of Innovation and Technology.” 

For more information on how to use RIDE, please visit here.


About Via 

Via builds innovative software to enable our customers—cities, transit agencies, transport operators, school districts, universities, and corporations—to transform their legacy transportation systems into advanced digital networks. As pioneers of the TransitTech category, Via’s mission is to expand access to efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation. Via’s software enables organizations to digitize their existing transportation networks and launch new and innovative services, simultaneously lowering operating costs and increasing quality of service. Our software is used in over 600 communities in more than 35 countries around the world.