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WAVE wants to raise rates 33% to salvage Sunday service

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- In an effort to prevent the elimination of Sunday bus service, the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority is proposing a 33% increase on all of its fares. Current adult bus fares are $1.50 and the proposed increase would raise adult fares to $2.00.

The Authority will consider public input to the proposed fare increase for the next ninety (90) days. Two public hearings regarding the fare increase will be held. The first public hearing will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm and the second public hearing will be held on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at noon. Both hearings will take place at Forden Station located at 505 Cando St. in Wilmington.

In July 2012, the Authority proposed eliminating Sunday Service as a way to offset increased costs for labor and fuel. Opposition to the elimination of Sunday service led the Authority to seek another way to offset rising fuel and labor costs and continue to offer public transit service on Sundays. Wave Transit has not increased bus fares since August 2008. While fares will increase 33% on most bus ticket purchases, transfers will remain free on all Wave Transit bus routes.

If approved, the fare increase will be implemented in February 2013 in conjunction with route modifications recommended in the Wave Transit Short Range Plan. The new routes will provide more direct bus service making the system more user friendly and easier to understand. The restructured routes also include limited service to Pleasure Island. The Short Range Plan is available online at the following URL: http://www.wavetransit.com/Portals/0/documents/SRTP_2012.pdf.

A copy of the Proposed Fare Increase Analysis is available at the following URL: http://www.wavetransit.com/Portals/0/documents/fare_increase_12.pdf

Email comments concerning the proposed fare increase should be directed to comments@wavetransit.com.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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WAVE system, fares

I've become a daily WAVE rider over the last few weeks (7 routes, 40 or so "legs" per week), and I will depend upon the system heavily for an indefinite number of months (probably at least six). This is not all bad news.

This is a SURPRISINGLY GOOD SYSTEM; connections are usually smooth; and the normal cliches do not apply- there are no virtually empty busses driving aroune pointlessly.

The problem is the development of an auto-based societty in a metro/ suburban age ushered in by RELATIVELY cheap fuel prices- FOR DECADES.

If more people knew what we have here, and made a few life-style adjustments- the solvency of funding issues would be eased a bit. Self- supporting and profitable- unlikely. NECESSARY: ABSOLUTELY.

If W.A.V.E. was...

a privately owned and operated business...they'd either have gone bankrupt long ago, or the fares would exceed the operating costs. These behemoth busses they roll around town in are highly inefficient fuel-wise, rarely filled beyond 10% capacity, and if it weren't for us taxpayers subsidizing them...they be out of business.

Why not replace the busses with 15-passenger vans...lower operating costs and much more maneuverable...not to mention they wouldn't be spewing diesel exhaust.

Good

At least this time they are not looking to vehicle owners to fund their bus routes.

Service to Pleasure Island?

"The restructured routes also include limited service to Pleasure Island." Why?

WAVE management explored that possibility just a little while ago and the response was overwhelmingly negative. At that time they were also looking for a way to finance it by getting people who wouldn't be using that service to pay for it (a really bad idea).

So now, when it turns out they're crunched for finances, they want to add that service?

Yet once again, because this isn't a business in the private sector, bad management is allowed to continue.

Does anyone (besides Ricky Meeks) actually ride Wave?

I haven't seen a WAVE bus with more than one or two people on it in a very long time.

I see no reason to not raise

I see no reason to not raise the tickets to $20.00 each way, even that will not make it self sustaining.