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🚌Gastonia shifts to efficient microtransit service

Gastonia City Council unanimously approved a major change to the public transportation system in their first 2024 meeting.

  • Starting July 1, 2024, the city will shift from fixed bus routes to a microtransit service.

  • The move, directed by Randi Gates, the Gastonia Department of Transportation director, aims to enhance the current system and reduce costs.

  • The new microtransit system, similar to Uber and Lyft, enables users to schedule rides through an app or phone call, eliminating the one-hour headway at bus stops.

Why it matters: Under the current system, a simple errand can take hours due to wait times. The microtransit service, with a 15-minute headway, promises greater efficiency.

By the numbers: Via, a transportation company specializing in microtransit, will carry out the new program.

  • The budget covers vehicle costs, with the city eligible for an 80% reimbursement from the Federal Transit Authority for initial purchase and maintenance.

  • The FTA will also fund driver pay at $20-$22 per hour.

  • Despite a potential increase in user fees ($1.25 per bus ride), the city's overall cost is expected to decrease, shifting from $1.55 million in FY 2024 to $1.54 million in FY 2025.

Go deeper: If you would like to learn more about the newest edition to Gastonia, please click here.


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