New Hanover County budget puts Wave routes at risk
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Historic Courthouse was standing-room-only during the New Hanover County Commission meeting Monday night.

Representatives from groups requesting alterations in the 2013-2014 fiscal year's proposed budget filled the room, trying to convince commissioners to make room in the county's budget for their cause.

One of the organizations that had multiple representatives speak on its behalf was Wave Transit.

Wave looks to receive $110,000 less in county funding than it received last year. Leaders say the cut is far more than that, as Wave Transit will lose state and federal leveraging, which they estimate will total close to $1 million.

They say one dollar of county funding yields one dollar in state funding and two dollars in federal funding for operations and eight in federal for capital acquisitions.

The recommended decrease in funding will force Wave to eliminate some routes if the budget is passed.

"There's a reduction in service of two routes, permanently. It would be the route to Carolina Beach. It’s brand new, its building but it isn't to the numbers yet, so that one is going to be the first to go. The other one is the northern route because it doesn't get that many people, but the stops it stops at are crucial," Dave Scheu, Chairman of the Cape Fear Transportation Authority, said.

Scheu says it's hard to believe the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners does not understand the need for public transportation.

Commissioners will have a work session on the budget June 13. They hope to adopt the budget June 17.

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.

I have for years looked in as the Buses drive by. Most of the time there is only one or two people riding them. I would say cut the number of bus and get something smaller.

a lack of riders. If they're going to continue at all, they should switch to minivans.

Alot of ppl ride the bus everyday.People like myself who depend on wave transit to get to and from work. They already increased the fare to $2.00 and cut routes. The bus only runs every hr and stops at 8:30. We need better public transportation. Going to city council meetings does not help,petitions dont help. Something has to be done it gets worse every year.

No they don't. That's the problem.

there is only so much money to go around. State and Federal cuts in funding. The city must cut as well.

One thought -- increase fares. Make it self supporting.

You and Guest 10101 have come up with the tandem of ideas that could save Wave Transit.
Vans instead of buses for most routes and increased fares.
That sounds like a winning combo to me.

Vog

you just put the winning alternative off the table.

If it makes sense, you can count on the City going in another direction.

Charge fee's that can cover the expense and make it self sufficient. Remember when the county wanted to add a fee to vehicle registration to pay for buses? Doesn't make sense to make people that own vehicles that will most likely never ride a bus pay for a bus.

It goes back further than that.
Mass transit has always been viewed as being self sustaining in big urban centers like NY and Chicago who have extensive transit systems.
It was also viewed positively during the initial Arab oil embargo of the 70s.
I like some of the suggestions of fair increases - However - I would offer a discount to daily riders.
People should be able to purchase an annual pass for 5 day a week riding privileges at a discounted price.

As for us paying for this service? I am willing to continue to do this if they meet us halfway with fair increases.

Vog

Sorry, Vog, but I'm not on the same bus, as you are, regarding fair increases. The only increases that I would be on-board with would be one which would allow the system to be self sufficient.

Wilmington Observer

By getting down to more vans instead of buses you cut costs giving it a better shot at self sufficiency.
We are just not big enough to support a city wide bus system I'm afraid given our current set up.
Vog

good if you ever look at the bus there never anyone on them. what a waste of our tax money, good put the bus out sevice,

...Everyone calls for cuts in governmental spending "for the sake of the children and their future," but if you cut something they like protests ensue.

Look at how UNCW triend to help their budget - screams from the horribly treated "victims." Look how the state is trying to balance the budget - protests, screams of torture and general unrest.

Government will never change.