Wave Transit

Adobe Stock


Wave Transit and New Hanover County Schools were the main agenda items at the Monday, February 17 County Commissioners meeting. Commissioners voted to approve $358,000 towards school safety initiatives, in light of recent allegations of child sexual abuse by teachers. Board members also authorized the appointment of Woody White to the Wave Authority Board -- but that vote wasn’t unanimous.  

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.

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.

Wave Transit

The public transit system in the Cape Fear region is facing criticism from the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County – the two local governments that created it.  Last week, County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman declared at a press conference that it’s time for a reboot as she has no confidence in Wave Transit’s leadership.  But one Wave official says the Board had no notice of the briefing or its content. WHQR speaks with Wave Transit Vice Chair Steven Kelly about a communication gap that has spanned years.

New Hanover County

Public transportation in the Cape Fear region is about to get a reboot.  That’s the word New Hanover County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman used to describe the revision of the Wilmington / New Hanover County joint WAVE agreement.  

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.  

Kimberly Spader is running for Wilmington City Council. She works as a licensed clinical social worker, and wants to use her listening skills to create open dialogue between city council and residents.

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.

If you are a person with a disability, getting around town can be difficult. The same goes for folks who are older and have poor eyesight or other limitations. WAVE Transit currently provides transportation options to help these people who need them. And it's about to get better.

City of Wilmington

Laura Padgett is poised to leave behind more than 20 years of public service.  She was first elected to Council in 1993. After five terms, she has decided against seeking a sixth and will step down at the end of the year.

For most residents in the Cape Fear region, a daily bus ride is not a typical part of the day.  There are significantly more people who drive their own vehicles than those who opt for public transportation.  There are some choice riders, but most of the people who use WAVE Transit on a regular basis use it because they need it.

WHQR News / Data provided by Wave Transit

The role of WAVE Transit – the public transportation system – that operates both within and beyond Wilmington City limits -- has evolved into a source of heated debate between the city and the county. 

Route maps courtesy of Wave Transit

Citizens who rely on WAVE transit to reach the beach communities, as well as northern New Hanover County destinations such as Cape Fear Community College, Laney High School and the VA facility, will soon know for sure whether they need to make new travel plans. On October third, WAVE’s board of directors will meet with the county commissioners to decide the fate of the two bus routes that stand to be closed as a result of WAVE receiving less county funding this year. In addition, the county may also strip WAVE of its powers to implement new routes moving forward.

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.

Wave Transit will get new maintenance facility

May 23, 2013

Wilmington residents living next door to Wave Transit’s industrial bus garage will not have to endure the sounds and smells for much longer. Ground breaks this afternoon for Wave’s new operations and maintenance center in New Hanover County, on Castle Hayne Road near Martin Luther King Jr Parkway. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports it will replace the current facility at the corner of 11th and Castle Streets.