Six months into the closing of a section of Business 40 near downtown Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) is sharing the latest data on what impact it’s having on driving habits.
Since the project began in November, PART buses have seen an average of approximately 1,800 passenger trips per day, with Vanpools reporting an additional 950. Together, these commuters have helped reduce over 18 million miles in single occupancy vehicle travel thus far this fiscal year.
Ridership is up 3.5% for March 2019 as compared to March 2018. Some individual routes have seen increases as high as 79%. The higher levels of public participation in these programs aren’t just improving commuting conditions, they’re improving our local environment. PART services reduced carbon monoxide emissions in the Triad by 2.2 tons during the month of April alone, and have also helped reduce 46 tons of NOx this fiscal year.
“Our goal is to provide safe and convenient transportation options that make traveling via a rideshare service during this project both easy and desirable,” PART Executive Director Scott Rhine said. “We are excited to see so many commuters taking advantage of our PART programs and services, and helping to improve our commuting conditions.”
And though the Business 40 project may have been the reason several commuters started using PART, many say a positive rider experience is what keeps them coming back. Greg Southard rides from Clemmons to Winston-Salem on Route 28. “Our route is like its own little community,” Southard said. “We have a small group of people who ride together daily and have built an open, friendly environment filled with courteous and genuine interactions. The commute to and from work has become a highlight of my day.”
Since October, PART has been providing enhanced transportation options including increased bus routes, discounted Vanpool programs and rideshare matching services like ShareTheRideNC for commuters to and from areas impacted by the road closures and across the Triad. These programs are part of the organization’s efforts to reduce single occupancy vehicle travel in the project’s high Traffic Relief Zone (TRZ) with the hopes that fewer cars on the road will result in better commuting conditions.
To learn more about the additional efforts and services PART is providing, or to see if you are eligible for the discounted Employer Pass Program, visit www.partnc.org/biz40.