Rider Profile: Meet Synethia.• 2 min read
Local microtransit service RIDE has been Synethia’s go-to transportation mode since the day it debuted in Wilson, NC.
We spoke to some riders of our US-based services to get a sense of what on-demand transportation means to them. From small-town North Carolina to big-city Texas, our Rider Profiles present microtransit in the eyes of those who depend on it most. Click here to explore more.
Wilson, North Carolina — a small city located 40 miles east of the state’s technology hub, the Research Triangle — now boasts its own high-tech claim to fame: on-demand public transit, powered by a mobile app.
In September 2020, the city of Wilson partnered with Via to replace its fixed route bus service with RIDE: an affordable, on-demand ridesharing service. Wilson residents can use RIDE to access nearby grocery stores, colleges, retail centers, medical facilities, and more by booking a trip online, by phone, or through a dedicated mobile app. Via’s advanced algorithms group riders traveling in the same direction, and drivers follow dynamic routes that ensure riders reach their destinations quickly and efficiently.
“I depend on RIDE to get around.”
Synethia, who volunteers at the local food pantry and recently worked at the local board of elections, heard about RIDE even before it was live. After seeing some ads at local bus stops and talking to a few bus drivers themselves, she was intrigued. Synethia doesn’t have a car, and neither do most of her friends, so they would usually take the bus or walk to get around town. New to rideshare, Synethia was a little concerned about safety, but she decided to give RIDE a try.
Synethia used RIDE the very first day it was available and she’s never looked back. “I loved what I saw and the way I was treated, and how friendly the drivers were,” Synethia said. “And I have absolutely no complaints about the drivers and how they protect my safety, especially with the [COVID-19] virus going on.” She added that she appreciates being sent real-time updates if the driver changes prior to her pickup, including a verified photo of the new driver.
The new microtransit service is more convenient and less noisy than the bus service RIDE replaced, and it goes to more places in Wilson, Synethia said. She also likes how easy it is to book a ride.“I love the app. If you use the app — one, two, three, you’re good to go.”
The cherry on top is the price point. Trips cost just $1.50, and, as a person with disabilities, Synethia is eligible for discounted fares. This pricing makes RIDE a lifeline for super users like Synethia, who uses RIDE to get to her job, the larger of two local Walmarts, her favorite discount store, and Wilson Community College: “I depend on it to get around.”