On-demand ridesharing public transit option starts operation in Wilmington area

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Starting now, residents of three southeastern North Carolina counties will have more flexible transportation options, thanks to an on-demand microtransit pilot service that is being funded by a grant from the NC Department of Transportation.

RideMICRO is a new public transportation service provided by Wave Transit in partnership with Brunswick and Pender County transit agencies. This one of the first on-demand ridesharing public transit services in the state.

“Our new service is not only for our community, but for neighboring communities as well, providing regional transit coverage in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties,” Marie Parker, executive director for Wave Transit, said. “Microtransit is designed to be responsive, economical and accessible. It is very similar to a private app-based rideshare but will be an extension of our current transit network.”

Microtransit refers to demand responsive transportation that does not require pre-booking and does not rely on fixed routes and stops, like a traditional bus system.

Riders can schedule a trip through Wave Transit’s website or by calling 844-764-1223. A mobile app will begin implementation by Feb. 2022.

“NCDOT is committed to public transportation innovation,” said Ryan Brumfield, director of NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division. “Pilot programs like RideMICRO are key to improving public transportation’s quality and ensuring that all North Carolinians have access to opportunities and services.”

RideMICRO is funded by a $600,000 grant from the NCDOT. Service delivery is provided by Bus.com and Moovit.

Last year, NCDOT supported the creation of Wilson’s RIDE program, the first rural microtransit program in the state, which recently won accolades during the 2021 Southern Association of State Highway Transportation Officials conference.

For more information on RideMICRO, including stop and fare information, and how to book a ride, visit wavetransit.com.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, New Hanover, Pender