WILMINGTON -- With gas prices on the rise, it's always a good thing to be able to get around town for free. Wave Transit had a free fare day today to kick off the bus system's new routes and schedules. But not everyone is pleased about the changes. Wilmington resident Doug Long said, "We got to walk a mile to the road and now on top of that we only get it every hour when we use to get every 30 minutes." Wilmington resident Reshea Pierce said, "It will take sometime to get use too, but right now for the rest of the week it's going to be very complex and people just not going to know how to catch them." Bus rider Deloris Crosby said, "It wasn't necessary at all they should have kept our similar routes." To start, bus stops have been removed from the schedule and route numbers have changed drastically. Wave Transit planner Matthew Kunic says he understands the confusion, but it's a change for the better. Kunic said, "What the bus stops allow passengers now to do is if they find there route get to their transfer point they can get to a lot more places a lot quicker, it's just learning the new numbers the new systems that is the main issues." To cater to more residents Wave added more transfer points around town and expanded routes into Brunswick County and Carolina Beach. Last year alone Wave Transit served more than 1.7 million riders. "We realize this is a huge change for passengers and this is a huge change for us," Kunic said. "This hasn't been done in 34 years; we want to make sure everyone is getting to where they need to be there questions are being answered in the most efficient manner and that they understand these routes because they will take time." And many agree. Castle Hayne resident Quentin Smith said, "Now the bus is convenient, the bus runs right to my front door." Wilmington resident Nancy Richardson said, "I think it's a fantastic change and we'll get use to it, we will, we'll adjust." You can get a complete map of bus routes and schedules by visiting www.wavetransit.com.
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