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Wave Transit kicks off new routes, schedules with free fare day

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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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Area Bus Battle

It is good that the area bus system is getting an overhaul. Public transportation should be offered to citizens of any city. I know persons who do not need to use a bus, and do not believe it is the responsibility of a city to provide public transportation to it's citizens, will always find plenty of complaints and hates. Who likes to get caught behind a bus, especially at a stoplight, and who likes their house shaking as the buses go by. I get both, and never use a bus. Cutting service to every hour will considerably cut costs, without eliminating the service. It seems a good compromise. Possibly be thankful you do not rely on public bus travel, BUT think about others who do, and think about necessary public services, especially as a city grows. I hope we can all adjust to the bus.

Now raise fares

WAVE has to be self-sufficient, and the only way that will happen is by raising fares to cover operating costs. USER FEES are the fairest of all taxes.

Garbage

The whole system is garbage. Yesterday was the final proof of it. And today is no better. Someone took me to work yesterday morning, so I didn't ride the bus in the morning. But, getting off work, I caught the first 104 (Mayfaire) bus, the 4:46. Catching the previous bus would mean a not full 8 hour work day because the bus is my normal transportation to work (someone bringing me to work is only possible rarely) and the first bus that I can reach work on will get me there by 8am. So, the first bus I can catch is the 4:46pm bus. It was 10 minutes late. "Pah!" I thought. "Nothing unusual." We arrive at Central Station behind Target at around 5:40pm or so. Missed the 5:30pm 106 to home. Oh well. Still nothing new. I could wait til 6pm. Um... actually. The 106 rolls up at 6pm... "I'm off duty. You will have to wait til 6:30pm." I knew that at 6:30pm, the busses started a once per hour trip. What I didn't know was that there is NO 6pm bus. Enraged and fuming, I waited til 6:30pm. The 106 arrived and I asked if the bus uses the stop at Hardees on Carolina Beach Road. I know it has a stop on Medical Center Drive, but I would have to cross Carolina Beach Road, even at a stop light (ignoring the fact that being legally blind makes it that much more unpleasant and dangerous). The driver said yes, and he did. Thank goodness, I thought. I wouldn't have to cross over in the morning to go to work. Oh well, so much for that idea. Having walked up to Hardees this morning to catch the first 106, at around 6:48am or so, I waited patiently. The first bus that pulled up around 6:45am said "Garage". But the driver kindly let me know it was the Monkey Junction bus. Nope. Not what I needed. But I kneda expected that. The next bus went by, literally, at about 6:50am or so. I say literally because it wasn't in the right hand lane to stop at my stop but rather in the left hand lane to turn left! "Call and complain." you say? Based on prior history with filing complaints, making requests, or simply seeking information, by myself and others, I'll pass on that waste of time. "Give it time." you say? This isn't a computer game or application that's been sold with bugs in it. It's a method of transportation for people to get to and from a variety of locations, including appointments and work. The excuse of "the bus routes are screwed up" to an employer is no more valid than "the dog ate my homework" to a teacher. And this argument ignores all the people the city bus system has now abandoned. While the old routes could have used some tweaking, they did serve a large portion of the citizenry that NEED low cost transportation, especially on a daily basis. If anyone wants to file a Class ACtion Civil Suit against WAVE and the city for, at the least, mental pain and anguish or the equivilant, count me in. This garbage needs to end... NOW! Andrew

why add new routes & not add

why add new routes & not add shelters to go w/them. great to add gordon rd etc, but there's only a bus sign, nowhere to sit & wait for a bus, no shelter at all so if it rains its a pain....how conveient is that?

Have a little patience

The changes are only one day old. Give em' a little time.