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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY — Years ago the main way to get from Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach was by trolley. If Wave Transit gets its way, the Beach Car may again roll to the ocean, but it would come at a price.

This afternoon the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority discussed adding an extra fee for vehicle registration. That money would help pay for public transit to the beach.

Right now, if you want public transportation to Wrightsville Beach, a bus stop nearly two miles from the sand is as close as you’re going to get.

“It stops on this side of the Intracoastal Waterway, so you have to walk the rest of the way, which is good exercise, but it would be a little bit more convenient for a route to go all the way to the beach,” said Wave passenger Michael Stancil.

The closest stop to Pleasure Island is all the way up in Monkey Junction, and the cab ride from there to Carolina Beach does not run cheap.

“It was about $20 from the Advance Auto on Carolina Beach Road by Walmart all the way to a restaurant by Wintergreen, down there by the deep sea fishing area,” said Wave rider Ricky Meeks.

Well, it may not be too long before Wave Transit makes that trip a little easier.

Wave Transit Executive Director Albert Eby said the state Department of Transportation would collect and allocate an extra vehicle registration fee to Wave to fund three separate routes to the area’s beaches.

“The plan will be that starting next year, during the tourist season, we can provide trolley service both to Wrightsville Beach, as well as a connection from Monkey Junction to Carolina Beach and then a trolley service on Pleasure Island,” Eby said.

Eby predicts about ten to 15 stops on the routes. He also said Wave is thinking about adding an extra cost for the routes.

If approved by New Hanover County Commissioners and Wilmington City Council, Eby said an extra seven dollars would be added to all New Hanover County residents’ vehicle registration regardless if they plan to use the beach buses or not.

But how will that effect those who live at the beach?

“It seems like a wonderful idea in that perhaps (it) would cut down on the number of cars coming to the beach. That is the genius part of it,” Wrightsville Beach resident Gail Spruill said.

As far as allowing Wave passengers to bring beach gear with them on the routes, Eby says he’s not sure yet how that would work.

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24 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Car owners would pay for Wave’s beach bus plan"

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2016 years 2 months ago

it’s not right that people that have a licence to drive has to pay for the fledging wave bus system that does’nt seem to be able to make a go at it on their own.

2016 years 2 months ago

My husband and I own property on pleasure island but we make our permanent residence and pay our taxes in Raleigh. It seems unfair to the New Hanover tax payers to have to foot the bill for a trolley that will primarily be used by-out-of-towners during the summer season.

If CB/Kure wants to add trolley services, I’m all for it, but make the people who use the the trolley responsible for the bill. Can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll pay my own way. You don’t need to tax people who don’t use the service.

2016 years 2 months ago

If this passes, I swear that i will pay it ( and all county taxes) in pennys

2016 years 2 months ago

Please make it a $8 fee. The extra dollar can go for the wave transit rider to receive a free ice cream when they arrive at the beach.

Since I’m working 2 jobs trying to get by and have no free time to enjoy the beach, I would hate to think of all the wave transit riders being at the beach with no money for an ice cream cone. That’s just unamerican.

2016 years 2 months ago

then it should close up shop. I do not want to support anyone who chooses to go to the beach. If WAVE and it’s riders want to go to the beach, then they pay for it. Why should tax payers. NHC and Wilmington leaders????? are getting out of hand with our taxes. Are you leaders????? taking stupid pills or just plain deaf to what tax payers are telling you?

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