Wilmington, NC – Construction workers, shoppers, and medical patients mingle on the Columbus County Connector, the regional bus line run by Wilmington-based WAVE Transit.
WAVE Transit is looking to improve rider-ship on its Columbus County Connector bus service, which has about 100 users a month.
WAVE Director Albert Eby says during the construction of PPD's headquarters, many construction workers were using the bus. With that project wrapped up, he's considering possibly shifting service to other industrial areas in Wilmington and northern Brunswick County.
The authority is also looking to add a third daily trip starting in July to serve shift workers traveling in the middle of the day. "It would save them from having to find transportation either to Wilmington or back," Eby says, "so if we could even provide one leg, I think it's an advantage to them."
As Eby sees it, the need for connections between urban centers and their less developed neighbors will only increase in the future.
"Rural areas tend to lose manufacturing jobs, tend to lose large employers, whether it be textiles, tobacco, whatever," he said. "Those folks are going to have to look to the more urban centers, like those found here in New Hanover County."
WAVE Transit is also looking into possibly adding regional bus service for Pender County in coming years, connecting Burgaw, Rocky Point, and Hampstead to Wilmington.