WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Bus riders in Wilmington got to ride the wave for free today. Wave Transit offered free fares today to kick off the bus system’s new routes, including one to Carolina Beach, but not everyone is happy about these changes.
Monday was the first day of Wave Transit’s latest changes to its routes and schedules. The transit authority is expanding coverage, which pushes buses to stop every hour instead of every thirty minutes. That could make life difficult for some riders.
“It has its pros and cons,” one rider said. “The hourly deal is kind of messed up, because if you miss the one bus, you have to wait a whole hour wherever you’re at, and that’s going to set your routine behind.”
There were no charges Monday to give riders a chance to adjust to the new routes. Tuesday regular fees return, and a regular fare increases to $2.
“And that’s kind of ridiculous, because you’re cutting the hours,” a rider said. “You’re only running the bus once an hour, so why increase it?”
People’s reaction to the changes are mixed.
“I’m going to have to pay to ride with other people, because this is not going to cut it for me,” rider Olette Harris said.
Not everyone is unhappy with the changes. A new route to Pleasure Island will let travelers ride the Wave to Carolina Beach.
“I think it’ll be an excellent thing for the beach and Carolina Beach just to bring more people, and especially those who haven’t got cars to be able to come down to the beach and enjoy the day,” said Gary Christensen, a manager at Wings in Carolina Beach.
Reviews on the beach route are mixed. Some say the trip will take too long. Other say it’s a good option when the weather warms up.
“In the summertime, if they really get anxious, of course, anybody is willing to wait,” Harris said.
The route to Carolina Beach leaves from the Monkey Junction Walmart once every three hours.
Wave also added a route to Leland, but eliminated stops in Belville and Wilmington’s Creekwood community.