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Public Transportation

Local Coordinated Plan Update

Every four years, the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization (GHMPO) assists the Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority (WPRTA) in updating the Local Coordinated Public Transportation Plan for the Greater Hickory Urbanized Area. The Plan is developed to provide strategies for coordinated public transportation and mobility management between multiple service providers, including the four-county region’s lead transit provider, WPRTA, doing business as Greenway Public Transportation. The Plan identifies transit needs and strategize potential services and procedures for increased mobility, improved service delivery, and enhanced connections to social services. The Plan also helps guide Federal Section 5310 funding for capital and operating assistance projects submitted by area sub-recipient agencies.


Catawba Re-Route 2021


WPCOG is assisting Greenway Public Transportation on community-led effort to re-design their fixed-route bus system.

For more information, please visit the Catawba Re-Route 2021 page at Greenway Public Transportation.

Before and After Map.jpg
Western Piedmont Leads the Way


Officials in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties along with the municipalities of Hickory, Newton, and Conover passed resolutions to create a regional transit authority. Called Greenway Transit, the organization is the first regional public transportation authority with consolidated urban-rural transit service in the state.


The transit authority assumed the operations of the rural and urban transit systems in the four-county region, collectively known as the Unifour, on July 1, 2008. The following four service providers were consolidated:


  • Alexander County community transportation provided by Alexander County Transportation, a county-operated system;

  • Burke County community transportation provided by Burke County Transit Administration Inc., a nonprofit agency;

  • Caldwell County - community transportation provided by Caldwell County Area Transit System Inc., a nonprofit agency;

  • Catawba County Piedmont Wagon Transit System, operated by the city of Hickory, which provides community transportation to county residents and fixed-route service for the cities of Hickory, Newton, and Conover.


The authority's story began in 2001 when Caldwell County Area Transit System applied for a planning assistance grant on behalf of Unifour. The funding, awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Community Transportation Association of America in 2002, made possible a feasibility study, completed by consultants RLS and Associates in 2004.


From feasibility to implementation, the project moved forward in 2005 when Hickory used federal Section 5307 planning funds, combined with state matching funds from the NCDOT Public Transportation Division, to finance the implementation study. The city contracted with the KFH Group to complete the study, and work was initiated in May 2006.


The Western Piedmont Council of Governments served as facilitator for the project. A study committee regularly met and guided the progress of the Regional Transportation Implementation Plan.  Additionally, each county conducted meetings and public hearings. The project had support early on from the transit directors and their transportation advisory boards.


For more information contact:


Greenway Transit 
1515 4th Street SW
Conover, NC 28613
tel (828) 464-9444
fax (828) 466-0570


For statewide information, contact:

NCDOT Public Transportation Division

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