Monday, June 24, 2024

Wave earns national Innovative Solutions Award for RideMicro

Wave’s on-demand transit service, RideMICRO was named an innovative solution in METRO Magazine’s September/October issue. (Courtesy/Wave Transit)

WILMINGTON — The local public transit authority was recently recognized for its on-demand service.

READ MORE: ‘Everything is on the table’: Wave strategizes for 5-year short-range plan

Wave Transit received a 2023 Innovative Solutions Awards from METRO Magazine for its RideMICRO service, launched in October 2021. For the ninth year, the Innovative Solutions Awards recognize bus operations and supplier partners who have implemented strategies that have helped them save money, run more efficiently, streamline operations, increase safety, improve customer satisfaction, and increase ridership.

Wave Transit was named one of seven nationwide winners for RideMICRO . A regional microtransit service developed as a pilot program, RideMICRO expanded access to travelers beyond Wave’s typical fixed bus route.

With Moovit as the service provider, RideMICRO provides more frequent service with decreased wait times to help increase ridership.

“Expanded transit access through RideMICRO and a user-friendly booking experience in the app allowed for people to live, work, and play in communities that suit their families’ needs while remaining connected to opportunities and services inside the fixed-route network,” interim executive director Jonathan Dodson said in METRO Magazine’s spotlight on the winners. (Mark Hairr is the current executive director hired in August; Dodson is deputy director).

According to the release, RideMICRO has a higher percentage of shared rides than any other program in the state of North Carolina. Monthly ridership increased seven times in nine months between March 2022 and January 2023, the cost per passenger decreased 85% since launch, there was an 800% increase in daily passengers since launch, and more than 70% of on-demand bookings originate from the RideMICRO app.

Passengers can book an on-demand ride from a virtual stop in one of four zones. The app allows users to track real-time arrival information and track the vehicle along its route.

“Moovit worked closely with Wave Transit and planners to uncover areas of opportunity and bus lines that were underperforming, using rich granular data on local mobility patterns,” Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s chief growth and marketing officer, said in METRO Magazine. “We also suggested virtual stops based on local needs in the RideMicro zones and integrated Moovit’s routing and fleet management software.”

Wave received a $10.4-million grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation to expand on-demand transit services. The local transit authority was one of 11 recipients, with a goal to grow into Castle Hayne, located 11 miles north on the outskirts of Wilmington, and increase transportation opportunities to low-income communities.

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