PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new Surf City business is hoping to make traveling Topsail Island easier for both locals and vacationers by creating a shuttle service.
The service is set to kick off Memorial Day and run Tuesday through Sunday until Labor Day. Both locals and business owners seem to think it will be good for the town.
“Folks come in on vacation, they’re in the sun and sand all day, spending time with their families,” Eric Shirley with Surf City Shuttle said. “They go out to a nice dinner, they have a couple cocktails, and they stand up and realize it may have hit them a little harder than they expected.”
With a lack of public transportation on the island, it can be difficult to get around.
“The only thing we really have is Island Taxi, which they get pretty busy, of course with all the tourists,” resident Chason Rogers said.
Seeing this need, two local couples came up with the idea to create the Surf City Shuttle.
“It will not be like an Uber or a taxi, where that is more of a reactionary transportation,” Rob Kosinski with Surf City Shuttle sales said. “This will allow you to plan your day, you won’t have to worry about parking, you won’t have to worry about drinking.”
The shuttle will have three different loops, going from the mainland to the island, and even to North Topsail.
They are looking to partner with several businesses to provide stops along those routes.
JM’s Dive Bar Bar Manager Michael Hutton says he thinks it’s a good idea especially for tourists.
“They’re going to drink a little more than they normally would when they’re at home,” Hutton said. “We understand that, we try to contain that as best we can. But it’s going to happen, so with this option on the table, for people to get home more safely, it gets them home more safely, and also the public at large.”
Passes range from $10 per day to $150 per season.
The owners stress that this is meant to be a family friendly service and all kids under 12 ride free.
“We’re working with the chief of police and the Surf City Police Department very closely to make sure that this fits the mold of what Surf City needs,” Shirley said. “We are not a party bus.”
The owners say if the shuttle is successful they’d like to expand next year with more buses and potentially an open air trolley.