Frequently Asked Questions

What and who is Wave Transit

Does Wave Transit Charter Buses and Trolleys

How do I apply for Paratransit (van) Transportation

Why doesn't Wave Transit provide more benches and shelters at bus stops

How can I track a bus in real time

Does Wave Transit offer transportation for medical and employment purposes

How can I request a bus stop

How can I make a compliment or complaint about Wave Transit

Why do UNC-Wilmington students and faculty ride without paying a fare, while community college and other school students have to pay half fare

Can anyone ride the UNC Wilmington Seahawk shuttles

Are Wave buses ADA/wheelchair accessible and contain bike racks

What is a transfer and how much does it cost

Why is there no service to Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Pender County, Brunswick County, Wilmington International Airport, or northern New Hanover County

To address questions relating to public transportation services provided to certain locations throughout our area, please see the following updates

What and who is Wave Transit
Wave Transit is a local government agency that operates under the oversight of the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority. Although members of the Authority are appointed by the Wilmington City Council and the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, the authority and Wave Transit are separate from both the city and county. Click here for a list of authority members. The Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority typically meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at noon in the Wave Transit Board Room at Forden Station, 505 Cando St. Wilmington.  The meetings are open to the public and a portion of the meeting is dedicated to receiving public comment. Click here for meeting dates, minutes and agendas.
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Does Wave Transit Charter Buses and Trolleys
Wave Transit cannot provide charter service according to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 604. The only allowable exception to providing charter service is to serve governmental entities if a request meets the conditions of 49 CFR, Part 604 (b) – Part 604.6. Click here for the authority's charter bus policy.
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How do I apply for Paratransit (van) Transportation
Wave Transit operates a paratransit program for individuals who otherwise cannot use our regular fixed route buses. Click here for information regarding eligibility or to complete an application for paratransit service.
Click here to download the application. We can mail you an application if you contact us with this request, or you can stop by our office located at Forden Station, 505 Cando St. Wilmington, NC 28405 for an application form. Once you receive your application, you and your doctor must complete the application in its entirety and mail the original copy to the address located on the form (faxes and emailed copies will not accepted and will be returned to you, which could delay the processing of your application). Wave Transit processes all applications within fifteen (15) days of reciept but please allow up to twenty-one (21) days for delivery to the address listed on your form. Once you receive your letter, if approved, instructions will be listed that will guide you through the process of scheduling your transportation with Wave Transit.
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Why doesn't Wave Transit provide more benches and shelters at bus stops
Wave Transit provides passenger amenities (benches, shelters, and waste receptacles) at bus stop locations that have demonstrated high ridership or meet the criteria for amenities that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. It would be ideal to have a bench and/or shelter at all bus stop locations in our service area, but unfortunately, there are many obstacles which prevent this from happening:
When installing a bench or shelter, a bus stop must have an adjacent sidewalk, crosswalk, and curb cut to the location. Many of the right-of-way locations in the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County do not provide sidewalks and connectivity alongside roadways, preventing Wave Transit from installing any amenities at these locations.
Wave Transit does not own right-of-ways (ROW's) along roadways. ROW's are owned by the City of Wilmington or the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Prior to installing an amenity, Wave Transit must have approval of encroachment from the respective owner for installation of both a concrete pad and amenity. Often times, this involves working with many departments within the city and NCDOT, and the process can be very lengthy depending on the logistics involved.
Wave Transit purchases benches and shelters using available funds for these items. While we strive to make funds available for these amenities, we must seek amenity funding through grants and other sources. Wave Transit has been proactive in securing shelter/bench locations throughout the area. We also have an amenities program that works with local businesses to donate a portion of their property behind a nearby sidewalk and behind the ROW line at a given location for placement of a bench or shelter, thus circumventing the process of obtaining a ROW encroachment. We encourage interested parties to contact us regarding the program if you would like to be a partner with Wave Transit to provide locations for benches and shelters within our service area.
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How can I track a bus in real time
Wave Transit currently has two forms of e-bus tracking that will provide you with up to the minute results of the location of your bus: Real Time Bus Tracking and our Text Message Program.
Real time Bus Tracking - Go to www.wavetransit.com/realtimebustracking.aspx, and click on the route that you wish to track. The red arrow depicts the location and direction of the bus. The top of the map included the next stop, direction and last update. The page automatically updates every 30 seconds.
Wave Transit Bus Tracking by Text Message - In an effort to improve Wave Transit for passengers and the community, Wave Transit has developed a new way for passengers to track buses. Passengers can send a text message from their phone to get real-time bus location information. The text message program is in operation when Wave Transit is operating. Passengers do not need to register for the program, and will only receive a text message to their phone if they choose to use the service. In order to use this service, follow these instructions:
Type the requested bus on a particular route in the message block of any text message. Example (fixed bus routes): To find out the location of Bus 102, type "Bus 102" into the text message block. This will be the similar pattern to use for all numbered fixed routes. Example (UNCW routes): To find out the location of UNCW shuttles, type the first letter of the color of the route. For example, type "Bus R" into the text message block to find the location of the UNCW Red Route.
Send the text message to the phone number 90947. The phone number will be the same one used regardless of what bus route you are requesting. A text message will be sent to your phone within 30 seconds providing you the real-time location of the bus. This service is free, however text message charges may apply. Check with your wireless provider for additional information.
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Does Wave Transit offer transportation for medical and employment purposes
Wave Transit provides transportation for applicants who apply for medical and employment transportation through the Department of Social Services (DSS); click here for information on contacting DSS.
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How can I request a bus stop
It's easy…. Click here to download our Bus Stop Request Form. Once you have completed the form, please return to Wave Transit via email, fax, or mail using the contact information on the form and you will receive a response within 30 days.  Submittal of a bus stop request does not guarantee approval, as we must consider safety of our passengers, the general public, and our drivers when installing new bus stop locations.
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How can I make a compliment or complaint about Wave Transit
At Wave Transit, we are always looking for ways to improve our service. We greatly appreciate all feedback received from passengers, visitors, and anyone who wants to let us know how we are doing. We have e-forms on our website that let you file a compliment or complaint with us, and we will get back to you at the method of communication noted on the form. Click here to access the forms. You may complete the form online and it goes directly to our customer service mailbox, where the event will be investigated and responded to within 21 days. Many complaints will receive immediate feedback within 24 hours; however, complaints that require more information may take up to 21 days to process.
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Why do UNC-Wilmington students and faculty ride without paying a fare, while community college and other school students have to pay half fare
UNC Wilmington contracts with Wave Transit to provide public transportation services on and immediately around the UNCW campus. Students pay for the service through their fees to the university. Wave Transit offers half fare to community college and grade school students to promote ridership and introduce students to the benefits of public transportation.
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Can anyone ride the UNC Wilmington Seahawk shuttles
The UNCW Seahawk Shuttles are public transportation routes open to anyone regardless of their relationship with the university. Non UNCW students will be asked to pay regular Wave Transit fare when riding the Seahawk Shuttle.
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Are Wave buses ADA/wheelchair accessible and contain bike racks
All Wave Transit vehicles are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for wheelchair and other mobility challenged passengers. All Wave Transit fixed route vehicles also have bicycle racks. And of course, bikes ride free!
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What is a transfer and how much does it cost
Some Wave Transit destinations may require travel by more than one bus. Wave does not charge for the first transfer during a one way trip; however, if a passenger requires more than one transfer during a one way trip, another fare is required. Please ask your driver for a transfer when boarding the bus to receive a free transfer for the next bus you plan to board.  Transfers are not provided for travel to and from Pleasure Island on Route 301.
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Why is there no service to Wrightsville Beach, Pender County, Southern Brunswick County, Wilmington International Airport, or northern New Hanover County
To provide the most effective, efficient and economical public transportation services throughout the area, Wave Transit is continuously monitoring passenger counts, receiving feedback from local agencies and passengers, monitoring census data, and reaching out to local public/private organizations through speaking engagements to develop comprehensive regional planning for public transportation throughout the region. Wave Transit has a short range plan, long range plan, and local coordinated plan, all of which provide additional information when determining routes and schedules. Our planning documents and studies can be accessed by clicking here. Wave Transit has numerous funding partners that base their decision to support public transportation in the region from sound planning principles supported by credible data. Funding plays a large role in determining our routes and meeting the public transportation needs of the region requires difficult decisions. If you would like to address the Authority directly about any concerns, details about meeting dates and agendas can be accessed by clicking here.
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To address questions relating to public transportation services provided to certain locations throughout our area, please see the following updates
Brunswick County - Wave Transit currently provides transportation service from Downtown Wilmington to northern Brunswick County, serving the communities of Leland and Navassa. Route 204-Brunswick Connector operates Monday-Friday from 6:00am-6:00pm, and originates in Downtown Wilmington. Click here for a schedule and map.
Pender County - Wave Transit coordinates daily trips into Wilmington in cooperation with Pender County Transit. Pender County Transit brings passengers from Pender County to the north campus of Cape Fear Community College, who then can to transfer to Route 207-North.
Wrightsville Beach - Wave Transit is discussing public transportation service to Wrightsville Beach with the elected officials. The Authority believes that service to the beaches is one of our top priorities, and in addition to building consensus for the type of service provided, the Authority is diligently working on a source of funding these routes should a consensus be reached.  Route 301 currently serves Pleasure Island with service to Carolina Beach.  Efforts to extend the route further south is being evaluated.
Northern New Hanover County - Wave Transit currently serves northern New Hanover County to the NHC jail and CFCC North campus; however, service is not yet provided to the northern portion of the county near Highway 17. Service to this area is in our short range plan, yet routes remain unfunded.
Wilmington International Airport (ILM) - With the arrival of the new VA Hospital on the campus of ILM, Wave Transit is working to provide service to the airport.  
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Thank you for taking the time to get more familiar with Wave Transit and the many services that we offer. We hope we have answered many of your questions, but if not, please feel free to contact our office anytime during business hours and we will be glad to speak with you. Our contact information is below
Phone: (910) 343-0106
E-mail: wavetransit@wavetransit.com
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 12630
Wilmington, NC 28405
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