By Michael Praats | May 27, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT – Updated May 27 at 8:48 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – WAVE Transit has faced a number of challenges over the past few years. After a complete overhaul of the board and a new director, leaders are looking to get things back on track.
But at Thursday’s Wave transit meeting, there’s a new concern the authority has to face: unhappy drivers.
WAVE Transit drivers are unhappy with their management company. They say there are what they call “bullying” issues and a lot of it is because of on-time performance standards. Driving in Wilmington isn’t just a challenge for locals and tourists, bus drivers have to deal with the same issues we all face on a daily basis.
Drivers say they’re being written up for things that are out of their control, like getting stuck in traffic or when they get to a stop too early, causing issues for riders.
Drivers say the criticism from First Transit, the company that manages WAVE Transit, is going too far.
“I think we’re all concerned. You need the drivers to be satisfied, you want them to be happy, but I think we are also happy to hear from First Transit, which manages the drivers, that they are going to personally look into this and see what’s going on,” Paul Lawler said.
Lawler serves on the Wave Transit Board and, despite concerns, he’s hopeful that things will get better.
“You heard my question about whether the schedule is being looked at to make sure that the schedule fits the reality of when buses get around. So we have a good schedule for the drivers, we have their concerns properly listened to – I think we’ll work things out,” he said.
Representatives from First Transit at the board meeting who promised to look into the concerns of the drivers and said they take any claims of bullying extremely seriously.
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