Short Range Transit Plan 2018-2022

Wave Transit 5-Year Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP)

To meet the needs of a growing community, the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority routinely undergoes an extensive evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of our system in order to improve service to the community.  Our latest effort has just concluded.  The planning process began in March of 2017 and concluded with a final report in April of 2018.  The final product is a document that will guide Wave Transit operations over the next five years and transit in the region for years to come.

Click HERE for a copy of the final report.

Why is this plan important?

The primary objective of the Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP) is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Wave Transit’s fixed-route system, including the Seahawk Shuttle, which provides service to UNC Wilmington (UNCW). The study includes an analysis of current services and community needs, a review of service performance measures and standards, and will propose service alternatives. Most recently, Wave Transit completed SRTPs in 2008 and 2012, which have successfully guided the agency’s transit planning efforts.

Accompanying the study, Wave Transit launched a comprehensive public relations campaign designed to encourage feedback from Wave Transit customers and community stakeholders, and market strategies to promote programs and potential revisions to existing services. The public relations campaign included a series of formal and interactive public meetings, a public survey, and direct outreach to customers and UNCW students.

How did the previous plan impact public transportation in our area?

The last Short-Range Transit Plan (SRTP) was completed in 2012. It set the strategic direction for Wave Transit’s operating and capital improvement plan from 2012 to 2017.

The 2012 plan included the following: identification of service needs, gaps, and opportunities; review of existing service performance and productivity; service change recommendations, to improve service for riders; and financial and capital plans for implementation.

The recommended transit service design maintained coverage to most existing areas of service, expanded service to Carolina Beach, made service more direct and simple to understand, resulted in shorter travel times for many riders, and preserved strong connections at the Downtown Station and Forden Station.

Click on the link to view a copy of the full report:

Who wrote the plan?

Wave Transit collaborated with nationally respected transportation planning firms Nelson\Nygaard and HNTB to conduct the Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP).

Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates is an internationally recognized firm committed to developing transportation systems that promote vibrant, sustainable, and accessible communities. Founded in San Francisco in 1987, Nelson\Nygaard has grown from its roots in transit planning to a 130-person, full-service transportation firm with offices across the United States, including Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, DC.

“In keeping with the values set by our founders, Nelson\Nygaard puts people first. We recognize that transportation is not an end by itself but a platform for achieving broader community goals of mobility, equity, economic development, and healthy living. Our hands-on, national experience informs but doesn’t dictate local solutions. Built on consensus and a multimodal approach, our plans are renowned as practical and implementable. Nelson\Nygaard specializes in transit systems, parking and demand management, emerging mobility, paratransit and community transportation, active transportation, multimodal networks, and campus mobility.”


HNTB has a broad range of experience in the fields of rail and transit operations, maintenance, simulation and railway signaling and communications. Their specialized personnel have extensive experience in the operations and maintenance activities that go into running and maintaining bus and various modes of rail system at a high level of efficiency.

Their work force includes experts in the areas of service planning, operations, maintenance and staffing, both on the bus and rail sides of an Authority. HNTB personnel have combined knowledge of best industry practices with experience from running and maintaining transit systems that allows them to bring value-added services to transit agencies to help them improve their operational and maintenance practices and procedures, optimize staffing levels, enhance employee and overall system efficiencies and optimize rehabilitated or completely new facilities. HNTB’s success at serving transit agencies is evidenced in that they now serve 95% of the nation’s transit/rail agencies.

“The firm’s Atlanta office houses more than 120 transportation design, traffic, structural, planning and environmental professionals, all of whom are greatly experienced in providing these services to clients throughout the region. HNTB has been in business for 100 years and has been in Atlanta for more than 40 years. Locally, we offer one-stop shop services from planning to service design to operations review, transportation demand management, marketing and communications and public outreach, for all types of transit projects. We have a long history of repeat business with our clients and greatly value our reputation and relationships with them.”


Who decided the contents of the plan?

This planning initiative is community driven. A steering committee of local stakeholders were responsible for overseeing this plan. Additionally, public input, customer surveys, input from the Wave Board of Directors, as well as input from elected officials were included in the plan.


If you have any questions regarding the Short Range Transit Plan final report or the planning process, please contact us by phone at: 343-0106 or send an email to: