WAVE Transit Likely to Extend Endangered Bus Routes' Closure Date
Over the summer, New Hanover County cut WAVE Transit’s funding significantly from the previous year, resulting in the likely closures of routes serving northern New Hanover County and Pleasure Island. However, WAVE was granted slightly more state funding this year for its Rural Operating Assistance Program. But since WAVE won’t be able to use that money to help salvage the routes in question, it will likely extend their current closure date—September thirtieth—until after WAVE’s board meets with the New Hanover County Commission to make final decisions in October.
Megan Matheny, WAVE’s director of planning and development, says the Authority is using this year’s increased state funding to pull elderly and disabled passengers off of a waiting list to use its transportation assistance program. She says WAVE hopes to also be able to appease people who may soon have a harder time reaching the beach communities, Cape Fear Community College and the VA clinic. At next week’s WAVE board meeting, Matheny says the Authority will likely decide to hold off on reducing any services until after the October third meeting.
"Because we don’t know, the county could come back and say, ‘We forgive your loan and we will fund you the ex amount,’ and if they say that, then you know, we will be able to sustain our current level of service."
Matheny says, however, that she has no idea what to expect from the county commissioners come October third.