Rebekah Davis

(Rock Hill, S.C.) –- In July of this year, Rock Hill began its free public bus service called My Ride Rock Hill that includes seven all-electric buses that follow four fixed routes around the city.

It’s the first bus service in the country to be completely electric from the beginning and the buses feature USB charging ports at every seat, free Wi-Fi and screens that run community messages.

My Ride Rock Hill currently averages 4,000 riders a week, according to Katie Quinn, communications manager for the city of Rock Hill.

Quinn, who was a guest on the Palmetto Report, said the community has reacted positively to the service.

“There is not a day that goes by, I manage the social media for My Ride, that somebody isn’t complementing the drivers, just on how nice they are, how helpful they’ve been,” said Quinn.

However, My Ride hasn’t seen an increase in ridership since classes began at Winthrop University, which might have been expected.

Three of the four My Ride routes have stops on the Winthrop campus and go to several Rock Hill locations, including downtown, Target, Walmart and the Galleria Mall.

My Ride representatives have already been on campus to promote the service and are planning more events to make students more comfortable riding the buses.

“One of the things we have tossed around is, during a common time, saying ‘hey, meet us at the stop at scholars walk and we’re going to ride the bus together,’ or ‘meet us here to go to Target and come back.’ Do kind of guided tours to get students comfortable,” said Quinn.

My Ride also has an app and a website where the buses can be tracked and people can get more information about the service.