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Wave Transit set to replace some routes with RideMicro, double the frequency of others

Wave Transit

After the successful launch of a pilot program, Wave is leaning into microtransit.

Wave Transit was on the edge of a fiscal cliff before the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed Congress. That’s why the public transit authority was looking at cutting 5% of its service hours last month.

But with the new infusion of federal dollars, Wave is back on track. Routes will still change this summer, but instead of general cuts to service, some will see increased frequency.

Routes 108 Market Street, 201 Carolina Beach Road, and 205 Long Leaf Park will all get 30-minute frequency, which doubles their service level.

Route 207 North and Route 301 Pleasure Island will both be replaced with microtransit, which Wave officials say will serve those areas much better. Both regions have limited population density, so microtransit is intended to help those riders walk much shorter distances to their stops.

Microtransit will also serve a section of Gordon Road and College Road near route 104 East, which will be shifting to cover more of Market street to the east.

The public comment period is still open for these route changes, and will conclude at 5 p.m. on April 12. You can find the public survey here.

If adopted, these route changes will take effect on July 3.

The map changes are pictured below, and there will be two public hearings held at Forden and Padgett stations later this spring.

2022 Map Wave
Wave Transit
The current Wave Transit Map includes limited coverage of the Northern section of New Hanover County and the Southern section out to Carolina Beach. But routes 207 North and 301 Pleasure Island are set to end service in July, 2022.
2023 Wave Map Proposed Changes
Wave Transit
The proposed route changes include increased frequency on some popular routes, like 108 Market Street, 201 Carolina Beach Road, and 205 Long Leaf Park. But others will be replaced by microtransit zones which will operate under the same hours as regular bus service.

The full list of changes is as follows:

• Retain current urban core network with peripheral improvements
• Replace Routes 207 North and 301 Pleasure Island with an on-demand microtransit service delivery model, which is responsive and serves a much larger geographic area
• Introduce 30-minute service frequencies on three routes, including Route 108 Market Street, Route 201 Carolina Beach Road, and Route 205 Long Leaf Park
• Offer 60-minute continuous, uninterrupted frequencies for Route 107 College Rd. for better consistency
• Revise Route 104 East offering transit service on Market Street east of College Rd. for the first time, and shifting coverage of Gordon Road and North College Road to the flexible microtransit service
• Interline Route 107 College Rd. and Route 201 Carolina Beach Rd. at Monkey Junction, reducing transfers resulting in better customer service
• Implement a seasonal trolley schedule, reallocating resources to the most productive hours