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What does Wave, the local bus system’s name, stand for?

Patrick Gannon

The “WAVE” in Wave Transit doesn’t stand for “We Are Very Empty.” (Critics of the bus system like to point out that they often see empty buses driving around).

And it doesn’t stand for “Wilmington Area” anything. In fact, WAVE isn’t an acronym.

In December 2002, the Wilmington Transit Authority adopted the name Wave, as well as a new logo and color scheme.

Wave is a reflection of the coastal area of New Hanover County that it serves. It’s name was adopted as part of a marketing plan to give it greater name recognition and “positively represent public transportation in the Cape Fear region,” according to WaveTransit.com.

And no, you’re not supposed to “wave” to flag down a bus. Buses are only supposed to pick up passengers at regular stops. But you can wave to flag down the Downtown Trolley, which transports riders through downtown Wilmington for free.

The Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority oversees Wave Transit, which provides buses, trolleys and other transportation services.

User-contributed question by:
Jim McNeil

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One Response to “ What does Wave, the local bus system’s name, stand for?”

  1. On July 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm ATGP wrote:


    Am explaining in detail as to why Wave Transit ridership is so low and why Wave passengers are no longing riding the buses.
    The bus stops are too far distance apart, entirely too much walking for passengers, no benches or shelters to protect from weather elements, takes too long to get to your destination with their inefficient routes, also routes do not take passengers where they need to go, hours for bus service need to be extended to later evening hours., GO INTO THE MALLS NOT AROUND THEM. Put the shuttles back on UNCW CAMPUS, not on weekend routes for the public, they do not have the features the public demands for easy loading of passengers and wheelchairs, are not safe and do not ride comfortable and air conditioning does not always work, Wave Transit needs to become a service of convenience for passengers not the inconvenient service it now is, maybe should be renamed INCOVENIENCE TRANSIT INSTEAD OF WAVE TRANSIT.

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