What if you could get a ride to the doctor, the store, or to work within Mocksville’s town limits, conveniently and efficiently, with a quick call or a couple of taps of your smartphone? YVEDDI and the Town of Mocksville are improving local transit service to serve your needs but they want your input! Let your voice be heard by filling out the survey.
Genesis Harrod, transit planner, for YVEDDI Public Transportation, explained that during the pandemic, YVEDDI transitioned from offering a circulator with dedicated bus stops to conducting a demand-response service, in which riders call the dispatcher and arrange to be picked up and dropped off. Now the organization would like to use advanced technology to go a step further and offer a microtransit system that would allow residents to arrange a ride via a smartphone app, the internet, or a call to dispatch. The microtransit software can seamlessly add pickups and dropoffs to a route in real-time increasing efficiency and decreasing wait times for the rider.
Microtransit, a cross between private individual transportation (like taxis and Ubers) and public transportation, is ideal for rural areas that have low population density and a large service area. “Microtransit can help rural towns like Mocksville get its residents to where they need to go, with less wait and more convenience than fixed routes and bus stops,” she said.
Benefits of microtransit include:
- Increase service coverage: Allows agencies to reach areas that their fixed-route buses may not accommodate, without having to dedicate regular service
- Flexible service: Accommodates riders whose schedules may not fit into fixed-route service timings (shift workers/those who work during off-peak hours)
- Efficient: Pick up and drop off riders at common locations and stops, reducing travel times
Harrod said the current demand-response service has received overwhelming approval from clients who have appreciated being picked up and dropped off at the door rather than waiting at the bus stop and have enjoyed not having to ride for as long as 1 ¼ hours on the previous circulator’s route. Now the average ride on one of Mocksville’s seven buses is about 30 minutes.
The service is available to anyone traveling around Mocksville, and she shared how some residents are benefitting from it.
- A student at Davidson-Davie Community College uses the bus to ride back and forth between the campus and his job at Food Lion.
- An employee at one of the fast-food restaurants on Yadkinville Rd. used to walk all the way to work from Rowan Pointe Apartments but now is able to schedule rides on the bus.
- A gentleman whose wife gets treatments at the dialysis center appreciates the ease of rolling her wheelchair on and off the bus rather than having to lift her in and out of the car and her wheelchair multiple times per treatment.
- Another client is driven to Winston-Salem for cancer treatments.
While YVEDDI primarily transports people around Mocksville, there are situations that allow them to drive people outside of the county, such as to the VA Hospital in Salisbury and to medical appointments in Winston-Salem. Harrod encourages people to call 336-679-2071 and select option 3 for a reservationist who will take their information and determine what services they are eligible for as well as the fee. There are some free programs available in addition to the usual low-cost per ride, daily, or weekly rate.
YVEDDI Seeks Input From Residents
Since YVEDDI is a non-profit agency that receives federal and state grant funding, it must apply for permission from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) before it can make any service changes. Part of that process involves requesting public feedback and holding informational meetings.
Harrod has ridden the bus to talk to riders about their needs and preferences, and she urges residents to take the YVEDDI transit needs survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2H77VJX
YVEDDI is also hosting a series of short virtual informational sessions to educate the community about the changes to the transit service which she hopes everyone will attend.
“There is no use in doing something different if people don’t want it. Understanding what people want and need will make our service the most useful for people. If it’s not useful, it’s not cost-effective for us to supply it. We really want their feedback and to let people know that this is a low-cost service that can improve their quality of life and make it easier.”
YVEDDI is Looking for Drivers
YVEDDI is seeking additional drivers. If interested, please call 336-679-2071.
YVEDDI is a nonprofit 501(c)3 Community Action Agency organized in 1965 to serve the people of Davie, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin Counties. The agency is governed by a 24 member Board of Directors made up of public officials, low-income and private representatives reflective of our service area. YVEDDI employs about 240 staff and approximately 100 are part-time, with a varying operating budget of $11.2 million for the administration of 65+ grants. Programs are funded through Federal, State, County Governments, United Fund agencies, and other resources. Community needs, program standards, laws, regulations and funding availability drive service delivery and participants must meet Federal Poverty Index Guidelines, certain age criteria, or other guidelines to qualify for services. To learn more visit YVEDDI.com