My Ride Rock Hill
In some Rock Hill neighborhoods, many households have no cars and require other means of transportation to access healthcare, schools and other essential businesses such as grocery stores. A 2016 study showed that 81% of residents supported a citywide fixed-route bus system. City staff developed a practical financial model for a transit system, and city council conducted public input meetings to plan it.
The City of Rock Hill launched My Ride Rock Hill, a city-operated, fare-free, all-electric and zero-emission transit system. It links the city's shopping, sports tourism, education and medical districts for residents, college students and visitors. Using a fleet of seven battery-powered buses made in South Carolina, it operates daily on four routes. The buses also have free Wi-Fi and charging ports, and a free mobile app helps riders find buses and plan rides.
The city's project partners include the local university, hospital and credit union. Funding came from Federal Transit Administration formula grants, covering 80% of capital costs and 50% of operating costs. Partners pledged a total of $400,000 every year for five years. The city contributes about $350,000 every year through tax base growth. Electric buses have the added benefit of being less expensive to operate and maintain over the vehicle lifetime as well as the environmental benefit.
Service began in July 2019. The ridership goal of 4,100 weekly passenger trips by the end of the first year was exceeded in eight weeks. The rate of on-time arrivals reached 89.7%. A homeless shelter indicated that some of its clients found jobs because of reliable transit provided by the bus system.
The city has received a $2.2 million federal grant to purchase three more buses for 2021 delivery. Officials are also exploring expanding routes into neighboring cities.
Contact Jeremy Winkler at email@example.com or 803.417.7676.