WSTA prepares for Nov. 11

Winston-Salem is preparing for the closure of Business 40 from Petes Creek Parkway to Highway 52 that will start Sunday, Nov. 11.

WSTA prepares for Nov. 11
October 18
02:30 2018

Date of Business 40 Closing announced Tuesday

The Winston-Salem Transit Authority is offering alternatives to driving through the traffic created when Downtown Business 40 closes down 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.  The N.C. Department of Transportation (N.C. DOT) announced the date and time on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Business 40 will be shut down from Peters Creek Parkway to Highway 52 starting next month. A portion of the highway between Main Street and U.S. 52 is expected to reopen by summer 2019 and the whole project is scheduled for completion in late 2020. This is expected to create traffic congestion as drivers take detours through city streets.

The City of Winston-Salem received a $7.3 million NC DOT grant to help enhance its bus services during the closure. These enhancements will begin on Oct. 29.

“Unfortunately we will certainly have some routes that will be affected by the closure of Business 40, so this is our answer to that issue and that problem,” said WSTA’s Tina Carson-Wilkins during a presentation on the enhanced services at Carver School Road Library on Friday.

The enhancements include routes 80, 85, 95, 103, 104 and 107 having two buses each that will provide service every 30 minutes.

There’s a new Park & Ride service, where commuters can park their car in a designated lot with bus service. Park & Ride participants can register online for the Guaranteed Ride Program, which will give them a free ride home using a local taxi service if a personal emergency happens, such as illness at work or a sick child.

Park & Ride service runs Monday-Sunday until 9 p.m. and will begin with Route 83, whose lot will be in the northeast corner of the Peters Creek Walmart parking lot, and Route 84, whose lot will be on the Macy’s side of Hanes Mall. Other routes will be added to the service in the coming months.

Carson-Wilkins said WSTA will also be offering Travel Training workshops that will be available to communities and businesses to teach new riders how to navigate the bus system.

Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) is also joining in, with discounted rates for its buses. PART is also sharing transfer points with WSTA for the first time ever, which will allow PART customers to board a WSTA bus at no cost. The shared transfer points will be located at the intersections of Fourth and Chestnut streets along with Fifth Street and Research Parkway.  Christina Ware took  notes during Friday’s presentation. She rides TransAid, which provides on-demand rides for qualified handicap riders, but was asked by numerous friends who work to attend the 10 a.m. meeting for them. She has local neighbors as well as friends who live in Kernersville, King and Greensboro that use Business 40 to drive to work. She said they’re concerned about the closing and are considering using the bus instead. She felt WSTA’s various enhancements will make things easier when the highway closes.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for them to lower some of the frustration that may come when 40 shuts down,” she said.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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