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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY — Years ago the main way to get from Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach was by trolley. If Wave Transit gets its way, the Beach Car may again roll to the ocean, but it would come at a price.

This afternoon the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority discussed adding an extra fee for vehicle registration. That money would help pay for public transit to the beach.

Right now, if you want public transportation to Wrightsville Beach, a bus stop nearly two miles from the sand is as close as you’re going to get.

“It stops on this side of the Intracoastal Waterway, so you have to walk the rest of the way, which is good exercise, but it would be a little bit more convenient for a route to go all the way to the beach,” said Wave passenger Michael Stancil.

The closest stop to Pleasure Island is all the way up in Monkey Junction, and the cab ride from there to Carolina Beach does not run cheap.

“It was about $20 from the Advance Auto on Carolina Beach Road by Walmart all the way to a restaurant by Wintergreen, down there by the deep sea fishing area,” said Wave rider Ricky Meeks.

Well, it may not be too long before Wave Transit makes that trip a little easier.

Wave Transit Executive Director Albert Eby said the state Department of Transportation would collect and allocate an extra vehicle registration fee to Wave to fund three separate routes to the area’s beaches.

“The plan will be that starting next year, during the tourist season, we can provide trolley service both to Wrightsville Beach, as well as a connection from Monkey Junction to Carolina Beach and then a trolley service on Pleasure Island,” Eby said.

Eby predicts about ten to 15 stops on the routes. He also said Wave is thinking about adding an extra cost for the routes.

If approved by New Hanover County Commissioners and Wilmington City Council, Eby said an extra seven dollars would be added to all New Hanover County residents’ vehicle registration regardless if they plan to use the beach buses or not.

But how will that effect those who live at the beach?

“It seems like a wonderful idea in that perhaps (it) would cut down on the number of cars coming to the beach. That is the genius part of it,” Wrightsville Beach resident Gail Spruill said.

As far as allowing Wave passengers to bring beach gear with them on the routes, Eby says he’s not sure yet how that would work.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest1

    Please see definition of socialism and note that Hilter believed in National Socialism. Tax us to cover that cost to run a private company?? If Wave can not pay for this service it should not be offered. $7 will pay for a cab. Let the person USING the servie PAY for the service. Some things are a necessity. A trolley is a luxury not a necessity.

  • woodmaster

    it’s not right that people that have a licence to drive has to pay for the fledging wave bus system that does’nt seem to be able to make a go at it on their own.

  • Guest

    My husband and I own property on pleasure island but we make our permanent residence and pay our taxes in Raleigh. It seems unfair to the New Hanover tax payers to have to foot the bill for a trolley that will primarily be used by-out-of-towners during the summer season.

    If CB/Kure wants to add trolley services, I’m all for it, but make the people who use the the trolley responsible for the bill. Can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll pay my own way. You don’t need to tax people who don’t use the service.

  • Guest

    If this passes, I swear that i will pay it ( and all county taxes) in pennys

  • Guest54321

    Please make it a $8 fee. The extra dollar can go for the wave transit rider to receive a free ice cream when they arrive at the beach.

    Since I’m working 2 jobs trying to get by and have no free time to enjoy the beach, I would hate to think of all the wave transit riders being at the beach with no money for an ice cream cone. That’s just unamerican.

  • ma_lashley

    From an article on WWAY, 9/20/2010:

    “In Barfield’s eNewsletter sent out last week, he proposes two ideas on how to make ends meet for the transit system’s financial shortfalls. One is a $7 vehicle registration fee. The other is a quarter-cent sales tax increase.”

    Is this Barfield’s scheme to help subsidize Wave Transit’s primary budget shortfall disguised as a temporary expansion of service to the beaches or do we have to look forward to a $14 increase eventually? Where will all the “quality of life” subsidies end?

    Maybe it’s only $7 (or $14?) on your registration, but then there’s another 1/4 cent sales tax increase here in addition to the increased property taxes there. It all adds up. The tax paying PROPERTY OWNERS of this city/county are walking around with a huge target on their backs that every department head or elected official takes aim at to fund their special projects in order to keep their electorate dependent on them.

    If, and only IF, this is a vitally essential service which benefits all should it be considered to receive funding from the tax paying property owners. However, such an optional route should be examined solely on the basis it can be fully funded and self-supporting through fees collected from those who would actually be utilizing it.

    This is the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. Once the government starts collecting fee’s or “temporary tax increases” they always find ways to reallocate those funds when their original intention is gone.

  • Local 51

    After reading this article it just burns my *ss up.They are wanting to charge $7 to all residents’ vehicle registration.What kind of bull crap is that.It is hard enought to pay taxes and tags on a vehicle now.Maybe the beaches should be the ones that foot the bill.They will be the ones that are recieving all the money from all the visitors coming to the beaches.

  • Guest461

    So here we go again, reaching into the productive citizens pocket again to pay for those that don’t want to pay, don’t want to work and don’t want to be accountable or responsible. There is already too much money coming out of my pocket to pay entitlements for healthy, able, lazy and non-motivated, yet capable societal leeches.
    We pay for your food, we pay for your housing, we pay for your cell phones, we pay for your babies, we pay for your healthcare and take up your slack and pay your share of the taxes too. Now, you want us to pay for your beach trips?

    Absolutely NOT! Not on my dime or on my time!

  • Guest4now

    Is the government trying to break the working class? Most people are trying like heck to keep our heads above water right now. Taxes going up, water going up, fees going up, gas going up. With all this spending you would think wages are going up too. Well, they are not. We are in a recession, you would think the public’s money would only be spent on vital services right now.

    If any elected officials are reading this: Please stop and let us catch our breath. Even if just temporarily, we need a break. This isn’t a democrat or republican thing here, it’s about the working class being nickel and dimed to the point that we just can’t make it anymore.

  • Spend_your_own_money

    Raise bus fares to subsidize car parking at the beaches. Whenever someone tries to reach into your pocket and steal more money for their pet project, reverse the premise and see how much sense it makes and how much they squeal.

    Obviously, the routes are not economically viable on their own so typically “they who know better than you what to do with your money” have to do their ersatz Robin Hood imitation and steal the money from someone else.

    Here’s a better idea: contact your state legislators and have them remove the ability for “they who know better than you what to do with your money” to steal from your pocket. The commissioners and council should not have the power to add fees to the state vehicle registration.

  • Guest3658974

    Why don’t the people riding the wave bus pay the exstra fee for going to the beach? I have lived here my whole life, but I don’t really go to the beach, so why should I have to pay an extra seven dollars on my registration? Is this the redistribution of wealth someone talked about?

  • guesty

    From the story: “…the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority discussed adding an extra fee for vehicle registration.”
    Wonderful. How about let those that use that service pay for that service? What a crazy thought. In all the time I have lived in Wilmington (over 20 years) I have never used WAVE so why should I be forced to pay even more that I currently have to pay for it? In fact, stop all government subsidies to it and either make it self-sufficient or shut it down.

  • Guest

    Just another of the many ways that governments (local, county, state, federal) are finding to implement socialist policies into our daily lives and societies. Unfortunately most of us are unwilling to face the monster and call it what it is.

    One day soon it will be too late.

  • Phillyguy

    I would use it and leave the car at home. Kudos to WAVE for the idea. We pay taxes for New Hanover but some of the beach towns have made it difficult for the locals to use the beach.

  • Guest3230

    then it should close up shop. I do not want to support anyone who chooses to go to the beach. If WAVE and it’s riders want to go to the beach, then they pay for it. Why should tax payers. NHC and Wilmington leaders????? are getting out of hand with our taxes. Are you leaders????? taking stupid pills or just plain deaf to what tax payers are telling you?

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