New trolley vehicles will soon run the downtown route under a rebranded name for the program, Wave Transit officials said Tuesday.
The authority recently purchased two vehicles, which cost about $435,000 each, with funding that came from a project-specific award from the Federal Transit Administration, through a discretionary grant, said Albert Eby, executive director of the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority, which does business as Wave Transit.
The federal grant for the new vehicles required a local match, which the city of Wilmington provided, said Megan Matheny, Wave's deputy director.
Both of the current trolley vehicles have exceeded their useful life by about two to five years. The new more environmentally friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered trolleys will replace the current diesel ones, Matheny said.
Only one trolley will run the route at a time, she said.
"At this time, the service is free to customers. Discussions regarding potential implementation of a nominal fee for this service are underway," Matheny said in an email.
Wave Transit plans to hold a ceremony at noon Monday to kick off the unveiling of the Port City Trolley, the new name for the program.
Port City Trolley was chosen through a community naming contest that had more than 300 responses. The name was selected in May, and this summer graphic design students with the University of North Carolina Wilmington helped in branding efforts for the revised Port City Trolley program, stated the release.
Wave Transit in 2018 piloted two trolley routes in response to feedback from the public, community partners and economic development groups, stated the release.
The expanded route that was favored by the community during the pilot phase was launched in October 2018 and carries a 40-minute route that runs between the North Waterfront, Brooklyn Arts, Central Business, Castle Street and South Front districts.
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