100 Zebulon residents and supporters will gather in-person for a non-partisan public assembly with candidates for Zebulon Board of Commissioners to prevent a potential disruption of the SmartRide NE micro-transit program.
The SmartRide program provides fare free, on demand rideshare service similar to Uber or Lyft, through smaller passenger vans that are more versatile than a full size city bus. In FY '23 SmartRide supported 13,000 rides in Northeast Wake County that connected low-income residents and seniors to destinations that included medical appointments and groceries. SmartRide is particularly popular in Zebulon which represents the highest ridership in the program.
There is a compelling case for this program in Zebulon, which contains some of the highest poverty census blocks in the county. As a rural small town, Zebulon also lacks infrastructure like streetlights and sidewalks outside of the downtown area which makes walking dangerous for pedestrians.
Despite the success of this program, there is a potential that service will be interrupted due to a reorganization of the SmartRide service area next year if no action is taken. The purpose of the candidate assembly on 10/17 is to educate candidates on the urgent need to prevent the disruption of the SmartRide program, to present a series of solutions for their support, and to discuss larger opportunities to increase public transportation in town.
*ONE Wake is a non-partisan organization that does not endorse candidates
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