CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — To most, the idea of having bus routes that could drop you off a few yards from water’s edge seems too good to be true, and it just might be. There may soon be bus routes to our area’s southern beaches if Wave Transit gets its way.
The executive director for Wave, Albert Eby, spoke to the Carolina Beach Town Council tonight about a plan to get bus routes from Monkey Junction to Pleasure Island.
Right now, the closest bus stop from Carolina Beach is in Monkey Junction by the Lowes and Wal-Mart, which Mary Schackner says is not worth the trouble to get to Pleasure Island.
“There’s people that can’t get there at all or haven’t been there in years because of the bus,” said Schackner. “If you’re having people over you can’t take them to the beach because who’s going to want to walk in that kind of heat for maybe three miles, four miles.”
To foot the bill for the new routes Wave Transit wants to add a $7 registration fee to New Hanover County residents who own vehicles.
Eby says the fee would add up to more than $1 million.
“We’ve estimated that the plan is going to cost anywhere from a little over $100,00 for seasonal service to both Pleasure Island and Wrightsville Beach and a little over $200,000 for a year round service,” said Eby.
He says the extra money left over from the registration fees will be used to offset future capital purchases, like new hybrid buses.
However, Eby says right now the plan is just a plan. He says implementing it will mean getting the approval of several different people.
“That would be up to not only the town commissions as well as the school board and some of these other folks in supporting resolutions, but it would ultimately come down to New Hanover County Commissioners,” said Eby.
The Carolina Beach Town Council decided that a public hearing on the bus routes to Pleasure Island beaches would be held before any decisions are made. Eby says he plans to speak to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen on Thursday.