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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You have probably heard about Wave Transit’s proposal for bus routes to the beach. But some claims made by Wave and even county commissioners in support of the plan may be a bit misleading.

In 2008 the UNCW Survey Research Laboratory asked 1,300 people various questions about Wave Transit. Two of the questions asked people whether they approved of bus routes to county beaches. But the results of the survey may not tell the whole story.

“We did a survey a couple years ago with UNCW,” Eby told WWAY in July. “It was a scientific survey. Eighty-seven percent of folks wanted to see service to the beaches.”

But if you take a closer look at the survey results, that claim is not all it’s cracked up to be.

“It’s simply not true,” blogger and government watchdog Chad O’Shields said. “The community support is not there.”

According to Wave documents, about 1,300 people took the survey, but only 150 responded to the question about the bus routes to beaches, and 130 of those wanted the service.

“To try and say that 130 people some how represent and community of 200,000 is intellectually dishonest at best,” O’Shields said.

New Hanover County resident Tony Mason agrees.

“For anyone who has been to high school or college, that’s an insignificant base to form an opinion on anything,” Mason said.

Eby has used the 87 percent figure in presentations to county and beach town leaders asking for a seven-dollar tax per car registered in New Hanover County to pay for the beach routes.

New Hanover County Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield used the statistic as well. He says he trusted the information that Eby gave him. After looking at the survey results, Barfield admits he was misinformed.

“I don’t think it’s exactly accurate at all,” Barfield said. “And I will tell you from what I’ve heard from the public with the e-mails and the phone calls myself and other commissioners received as well as the beach communities is that at this point in time, bus service to the beaches is not what the public wants.”

We spoke with Eby on the phone today. He admitted that the figure represents just 87 percent of people who answered the question. We asked if we could sit down and talk about it, but he said he was too busy with meetings.

Comment on this Story

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Nothing more predictable than the reactions of someone caught telling a big whopper.

  • Ken

    With Mr. Eby selling Whoppers like that to New Hanover County, he could make a fortune selling Whoppers to one of our Fast Food Burger Resturants. There may come a time when the people of the Beach Communities and Wilmington want to see bus service to the beaches and we will know by a much larger and louder voice than 130 out of 1,300 people.

  • Guestx

    IMHO, the only thing a leech like Eby IS qualified to do is sell Whoppers, but I don’t think Burger King would hire someone so dishonest.

  • guesty

    Maybe they realized that people that own cars shouldn’t have to foot the bill for others to get to the beach. Maybe they are also starting to figure out you can only tax so much before the people will take a stand. We are getting closer to that stand everyday.

  • Great job with the story guys! Here’s more on the subject:

  • RSimmons

    I would welcome and use the bus to get to the beach but I don’t want something legislated and funded by deception. Funding the bus with a fee on plate registrations is IMO just wrong. Something that benefits the public should be shared in cost by all.

  • guesty

    No, the cost should be paid by those that use the service. In the 21 years I have lived in Wilmington I have never used WAVE nor do I have the desire to use it. Why do I have to pay to support it? Make the fares enough to be self sufficient or shut it down. In private industry if you don’t bring enough in to cover expenses you go out of business. In government you just add another tax.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    When you have a bottomless well of taxpayer money funded by we suckers who pay taxes, and a Socialist, wealth redistribution agenda, the sky’s the limit.

    ….and you KNOW that the simpletons, saps, scammers, and societal leeches will say that with all that stuff, you should be willing to “give back” something and pay the extra money…..so they don’t have to pay an appropriate fare.

  • Guest461

    With using Eby’s “magic mathematics” along with the way the question was posed, you may find support. Pose the question again in a public vote, in this manner:

    “Would you support an additional annual $7.00 license tag fee for each vehicle you own to provide Wave Transit bus service to the local beaches?”

    You put this question out for public vote and you will see an overwhelming, “HELL NO!” A “scientific survey”? Sorry, but Eby wouldn’t know the difference between a 0.5L beaker and a sledghammer, much less what a “scientific survey” consists of. With all of the comments made to articles on this matter published by WWAY, there is little to NO support from the general public. Do Not forget that, County Commissioners!

    Let’s do some “basic” math here WITHOUT the magic: I am a singe man, own 2 cars, 2 motorcycles, a boat w/trailer, a utility trailer and a street legal golf cart, all of which require license plates, (7) total. OK…here goes: 7 X $7.00 = $49.00 additional per year for me alone! Good thing I don’t have a spouse and children with cars to add in as well. Any responsible tax paying citizen that would support this is in desperate need for an immediate visit to their therapist.

    If you can’t pay your bills and support your business from the revenue derived from it, then either raise your fares, cut your routes or shut your doors. That’s the way business works!

  • Guestzento

    Guesty, in the 50+ years I’ve lived in Wilmington I’ve never had any children in the school system so why do I have to support it? I feel the same way about the school systen as you do about WAVE Transit….the people that have children in the system should pay to support it!!

  • guesty

    But the fact that the school system is needed to try to prevent future sponges living off taxes makes it worthwhile to support. The bus ride to the beach is not a necessity but a luxury, a luxury we can’t afford. The whole welfare system needs to be revamped with time limits instituted to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life for sponges to breed more sponges. Sorry, went off on a tangent.

    It would be simple to change the tax code where if either you don’t have children under 18 or if your children go to private school you could get back the money spent in taxes that would support schools.

  • Guest

    When 130 people out of 200,000 are influencing government decisions its called “Tea Party Math”

  • Guest9

    i think a member of the tea party would be against a $7 tax increase


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