Benjamin Schachtman

Many of the region’s problems don’t stop at the boundaries between the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County. At a recent joint meeting, elected officials found common ground -- but also some tensions -- on challenging issues affecting both governments.

Hannah Breisinger

Wave Transit is officially switching gears. Final route recommendations have been accepted by the Wave board, meaning the current system will be reconfigured. But that decision wasn’t made unanimously. WHQR’s Ben Schachtman and Hannah Breisinger have both been checking in on Wave, and discuss the latest developments.

Public Domain Vectors

Early voting is underway for primary elections in the Cape Fear Region – and finishes on Feb. 29th. Voting day is March 3rd. So what are this year's major contested races? WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn talks with Port City Daily’s Ben Schachtman.

Vince Winkel

Wilmington City Council last night joined New Hanover County in approving an additional $700,000 for the WAVE Transit system.  The move was not without controversy.

Vince Winkel

A large crowd turned out for Monday’s New Hanover County Commissioners meeting, but most left early when a public hearing on rezoning in Porters Neck was continued to a later date.

NHC Commissioners Face Busy Monday Session

Jan 31, 2020
Vince Winkel

It should be a busy New Hanover County Commissioners meeting Monday afternoon with The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority presenting its annual report and a major rezoning plan also on the agenda.

Vince Winkel

The future of WAVE Transit dominated Monday morning’s New Hanover County Commissioners’ meeting. A month ago, the Commissioners voted to end the county contract with the transportation system on July 1, 2021.  Today there was another funding vote.

Wave Transit

It was a surprise to Wave Transit officials and to some fellow Commissioners when Julia Olson-Boseman, Vice Chair of the New Hanover County Board, made a motion to end the County’s agreement with Wave.  

WAVE Transit Looks To Next Five Years

Feb 16, 2018
Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

WAVE Transit, the Cape Fear region’s public transportation system, is looking toward growth – much like the region it serves.  But financing that growth is a steep road to climb.

Wave Transit received a government grant to improve transportation services to people over the age of 65 and people with disabilities. Wave Transit is distributing some of these funds to local organizations to help increase these services. Eligible organizations can be non-profit, governmental, or private businesses; the main thing is that they can provide new transportation options. 

Vanessa Lacer, the Mobility Manager at Wave, joined us in the studio to talk about how groups can apply to receive funding through this community grant program. Listen to our interview above for more information. And stay tuned-we'll speak with Lacer in November to find out who the grant recipients are.

WHQR News / Data provided by Wave Transit

Over the summer, New Hanover County cut WAVE Transit’s funding significantly from the previous year, resulting in the likely closures of routes serving northern New Hanover County and Pleasure Island. However, WAVE was granted slightly more state funding this year for its Rural Operating Assistance Program. But since WAVE won’t be able to use that money to help salvage the routes in question, it will likely extend their current closure date—September thirtieth—until after WAVE’s board meets with the New Hanover County Commission to make final decisions in October.

Public transportation destination: What the future holds

Jun 18, 2013
Route maps courtesy of Wave Transit

Each weekday, there are more than 520,000 trips** on the region’s road network. This includes traffic from Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover counties. By 2040 that number is projected to double. That’s according to the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, the agency responsible for regional transportation planning. As public transit agencies like Wave Transit struggle to stretch smaller budgets and improve service, it might be up to the community to choose its own transportation destiny.

The cost of Wave Transit: What fuels your ride?

Jun 12, 2013

If you build it, they will come. But before that happens, someone has to pay to put it together. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County combined transportation forces to form Wave Transit almost a decade ago. The authority was set up on its own, independent of both city and county government. It also started with no cash balance, meaning no money in the bank. In part 2 of a series on Wave Transit, we explore the financial woes of the agency.

One thing is certain about funding for public transportation: the federal government doesn’t just give it to you.

It’s late Tuesday morning. I’m standing in front of Carolina Farmin’ on Market Street, waiting for the 108 bus. I’ve never taken the bus because I drive everywhere, even though there’s a bus stop 7 minutes from my house. I’m considered a choice rider – I don’t have to ride, but I choose to. Here’s what I’ve noticed about the bus as a person who never takes the bus: it looks difficult and inconvenient. There aren’t a lot of bus shelters or sidewalks. Sometimes I see passengers hurling their bodies across busy streets. Sometimes buses look empty. I pay my $2 fare, and climb aboard. I count about 10 passengers.

I’m headed to Forden Station, Wave’s main terminal located near Corning, and I meet Brian Creech and David Brewer.

Both are considered transit-dependent -- they rely on the bus to get everywhere. Both are on their way to Vocational Rehab orientation on Randall Parkway. They’re going to learn about job training and placement. David says he planned his trip an hour in advance. He doesn’t have a car, but says the bus isn’t so bad.