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Volume 41 Issue 4 • June 2-8, 2011
now in our 41th season

Ride the Wave & Save

by Sarah Teach

Sandy-haired beach bums aren’t the only ones who will be riding waves on Nantucket this year. If you’ve been on-island for the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen some of the new vehicles of the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA), all of which bear a catchy new name: The Wave!

The Wave

Now in its 17th season of providing shuttle bus service on Nantucket, the NRTA certainly has made a habit out of providing quality service to riders. NRTA Administrator Paula Leary says, “From a service perspective, nothing has changed. We have all the same routes, fares, pass rates, and stops.  You can still count on our fixed route service; it’s just been made fresher!”  While the NRTA still exists as a legal entity, the old name “The Shuttle” has been bumped out of use.  The improvements made this year extend beyond simply the name, though: several new bus shelters have been constructed at major stops, and the NRTA has hopped on a greener train than ever before. Two hybrid buses have been added to the fleet, reducing Nantucket’s carbon footprint even further!

This year also brings a big technological jump forward.  Leary is bursting with excitement as she tells us about their new web-based system, saying, “The real talk of the town revolves around our new phone app!”  Smart phone users, get ready for an unprecedented level of coolness: you can get a free “Where’s My Bus” app that allows you to access real-time information about the location of your bus!  You can actually see the buses moving as colored bubbles on the map.  That way, you never miss a ride, and you can always find the closest stop.  If you’re not a smart phone user, just head to the Greenhound Building at 10 Washington Street, which is the seasonal bus station, and grab the new 2011 brochure. It’s colorful and fantastically rider-friendly, so you always know when and where you can get a ride.

Routes take riders to any main area of the island from Madaket to ‘Sconset.  Check to find the stop nearest you.  Routes include Madaket Loop, Miacomet Loop, Mid Island Loop, Airport Route, Surfside Beach Route, Jetties Beach Route, and three different routes that take you to Sconset: via Milestone Road, via Polpis Road, and via Old South Road.  If the routes don’t pass closely enough to your house, then consider driving, walking, or biking partway.  The following lots are being offered as park and ride locations: The Muse at 44 Surfside Road, The Chicken Box at 5 Dave Street, Faregrounds Restaurant at 27 Fairgrounds Road from 7 am to 5 pm, and Nantucket Elementary School on Surfside Road when school is not in session.

This season’s freshening came about due to a partnership between the NRTA and ReMain Nantucket, which is a nonprofit that encourages use of public transportation and other alternatives to driving.  Riding The Wave is a good idea on so many levels; who wants to be stuck in traffic on a beautiful day on Nantucket?  You can always be certain that you’ll access the downtown area in a timely fashion, and you won’t have to worry about driving after imbibing.  And, just think how wonderful it would be to not have to worry about parking and parking tickets!

With rates that never exceed $2 per person, The Wave is a big money saver, too.  Next time you’re in town, jump on the chance for a cheap, environmentally savvy, safe and reliable ride home.  After all, it’s just so much fun to say, “D’ya wanna just ride The Wave home?”


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