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How does Wave Transit compare to similar transit systems in cost measures?

Julian March
Wave Transit bus

Wave Transit's cost per passenger mile in 2005 was $1.23. (StarNews file photo)

A federal database includes information on the operating expense per passenger mile for buses. Below, a chart compares Wilmington’s cost per passenger mile with other cities across North Carolina. Wave Transit data was last updated in 2005. To maintain consistency, it was compared to other 2005 transit data.

There are different ways to compare efficiency, said Wave Transit Executive Director Albert Eby.

In another type of comparison, Wave Transit is more efficient than several statewide peers.

Contractors preparing Wave Transit’s Short Range Transit Plan examined data from 2007 to 2011. During that time, Wave Transit’s operating cost per revenue hour fluctuated between $48 and $55, according to a January draft of the plan. Several peer agencies, including transit groups in Fayetteville, High Point and Asheville, have costs per revenue hour of between $60 and $72, according to the plan.

Bus agency Year Cost per passenger mile Service area population
Wave Transit 2005 $1.23 55,530
Capital Area Transit 2005 $0.75 311,053
Asheville Transit System 2005 $0.75 69,889
Durham Area Transit Authority 2005 $0.69 179,000
Greensboro Transit Authority 2005 $0.78 235,262
Charlotte Area Transit System 2005 $0.80 681,310
Winston-Salem Area Transit Authority 2005 $1.39 199,500
Fayetteville Area System of Transit 2005 $0.74 130,692

Source: National Transit Database

User-contributed question by:
Bill Jayne

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2 Responses to “ How does Wave Transit compare to similar transit systems in cost measures?”

  1. On February 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm John Smith wrote:

    How is the service area for WAVE only 55k?

  2. On March 1, 2012 at 7:50 am Meghan Bureau wrote:

    Who decides which bus stops get a bench and an overhang? I saw 3 people sitting on over-turned grocery carts at the bus stop at Lowe’s at Monkey Junction yesterday. It made me very sad for those who are using the Wave.

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