North Carolina transit organization receives national award

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The Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) awarded the RIDE ridesharing service in Wilson, N.C., with an America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Innovation and Technology at the organization’s annual conference earlier this month.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials sponsor the America’s Transportation Awards program, which recognizes state transportation agencies for projects that make communities a better place to live, work and play.

“The Wilson RIDE project continues to receive regional and national recognition as an innovative way to improve access to opportunities and services for residents,” Ryan Brumfield, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Integrated Mobility Division director, said. “We appreciate SASHTO’s recognition of this exciting project and look forward to working with other transit agencies in North Carolina to deploy similar projects.”

RIDE began operating last September. Users schedule trips online or through an app, and a RIDE vehicle will bring them to their stop. The vehicle may pick up other passengers.

NCDOT cited the service’s success and popularity among the public in its nominating application. Demand for RIDE is already higher than pre-pandemic levels on Wilson’s fixed-route transit system.

NCDOT secured a federal grant to fund the service.