Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life. With dedicated and increased funding, Wave buses could run more frequently and take more direct routes, including routes with less stops so that it could become a functional part of everyday life for citizens who choose it. A robust and efficient transit system also takes vehicles off the road when drivers opt to become riders, which helps traffic flow better and benefits the environment. So even if you’re not a rider, it could help your overall commute.
In addition, the sales tax would fund more than just the public transit system. It would mean a dedicated and continuous source of funds for additional multi-use trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks that could provide our community with the needed safe connections to transportation, businesses, and our many quality-of-life assets, as well as encourage physical activity and promote a healthy lifestyle. It would help make New Hanover County a walkable and bikeable community.
Also, it would help leverage state and federal dollars to bring the Rail Realignment Project to reality, which would replace, relocate, and improve the rail line that currently runs through the most densely populated areas of the city and county and ensure there are better connections to public transportation and multi-use paths. The project would eliminate 32 at-grade rail crossings within the city and county, creating significant benefits such as increased safety, public mobility and economic development. The Rail Realignment Project incorporates an NCDOT project to widen South Front to four lanes, add a multi-use path for better connectivity, and relocate the railroad tracks to the west side of the road, eliminating two public at-grade rail crossings in the process.