The future of New Hanover County is bright says Commission Chairman Woody White. Unemployment is declining, collaboration with the City of Wilmington and the beach towns is expanding, and the County just landed a coveted triple-A bond rating.
Each weekday, there are more than 520,000 trips** on the region’s road network. This includes traffic from Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover counties. By 2040 that number is projected to double. That’s according to the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, the agency responsible for regional transportation planning. As public transit agencies like Wave Transit struggle to stretch smaller budgets and improve service, it might be up to the community to choose its own transportation destiny.
As New Hanover County and City of Wilmington officials hand out financial incentives to companies they hope to keep in the Cape Fear region, the state is also considering the effectiveness of incentives.
If you build it, they will come. But before that happens, someone has to pay to put it together. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County combined transportation forces to form Wave Transit almost a decade ago. The authority was set up on its own, independent of both city and county government. It also started with no cash balance, meaning no money in the bank. In part 2 of a series on Wave Transit, we explore the financial woes of the agency.
Tropical Storm Andrea: the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season left very little damage behind.
Minor flooding in predictable areas, a few downed trees blocking roads, and some early-morning tornadoes with no confirmed reports of damage – that’s all the Cape Fear region has to show for its brief visit with Tropical Storm Andrea.
Reid Hawkins is with the National Weather Service:
Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to make her way through the Coastal Carolinas Friday morning. And while emergency officials aren’t sounding any alarms, they are telling people to monitor the situation.
Anthony Marzano, Director of Emergency Management for Brunswick County:
It’s late Tuesday morning. I’m standing in front of Carolina Farmin’ on Market Street, waiting for the 108 bus. I’ve never taken the bus because I drive everywhere, even though there’s a bus stop 7 minutes from my house. I’m considered a choice rider – I don’t have to ride, but I choose to. Here’s what I’ve noticed about the bus as a person who never takes the bus: it looks difficult and inconvenient. There aren’t a lot of bus shelters or sidewalks. Sometimes I see passengers hurling their bodies across busy streets. Sometimes buses look empty. I pay my $2 fare, and climb aboard. I count about 10 passengers.
I’m headed to Forden Station, Wave’s main terminal located near Corning, and I meet Brian Creech and David Brewer.
Both are considered transit-dependent -- they rely on the bus to get everywhere. Both are on their way to Vocational Rehab orientation on Randall Parkway. They’re going to learn about job training and placement. David says he planned his trip an hour in advance. He doesn’t have a car, but says the bus isn’t so bad.