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Transportation and The Wave Bus System Nantucket

The 2008 purchase of the Greenhound building at 10 Washington Street marked the beginning of Remain's relationship with the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA) and ongoing efforts to increase access to multimodal transportation across the island.      

The Vision

To increase access to public transportation by supporting a year-round bus system that benefits the downtown business community, reduces the dependancy on individual cars and parking and supports the environmnet.

The Mission

Greenhound building became the year-round downtown hub for the island bus system known as The Wave. By partnering with the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority, Remain has offered steady access to opportunties to improve public transportation across the island.

The Project

was all made possible through Remain Nantucket.

Ride the Wave

Nantucket Regional Transit Authority

Supporting year-round public transportation for the community

Following the 2008 purchase and establishment of the Greenhound building, Remain and the Nantucket Regional Transportation Authority (NRTA) embarked on an expansive partnership that tackled a wide varity of projects all focused on solving transportation challenges using innovative approaches backed by informed data. The team partnered with groups like Norman Garrick, a transportation expert from the University of Connecticut, and his team of graduate students who looked at multimodal transit on the island to inform a convenient and dignified ridership experience and AECom consultants, which led to the implementation of year-round bus service in 2018.


Consultants were also hired to launch an island-wide contest for renaming the NRTA bus system, now named “The Wave.” Remain supported and funded the development of the NRTA app with Transloc and partnered with transportation expert Susan Richard on efforts including rebranding, increasing ridership, and launching The Ferry Connector, Park and Ride lots and The Rider’s Guide. Remain funded NRTA’s Alternative Fare Collection Study conducted by AECOM, a multinational infrastructure consulting firm.


In 2021, the Town of Nantucket purchased the Greenhound building. “We are so grateful to Remain for supporting public transportation on the island,” said Libby Gibson, Nantucket Town Manager, at the time. “Over the past three years, we’ve expanded our services and demonstrated not only the viability of year-round transit service but the also the critical role NRTA plays in our community.” The sale marked the end of Remain’s oversight of the building but has not stopped the partnership and support of creative thinking for NRTA and multimodal efforts in general.


Under the leadership of NRTA administrator Gary Roberts and with grant support from Remain Nantucket, NRTA is working to electrify its fleet of buses in the system. In addition, NRTA will be piloting a “fare-free” program from April through September 2024, thanks to a state grant obtained by the island transportation agency. The hope is that the pilot program will encourage more people to ride utilize the public transportation network.

Year-Round Transit

Use the TransLoc app for up-to-date information on how to catch The Wave


Thanks to a state grant, The Wave is launching a "fare-free" pilot program in spring 2024


Under current NRTA leadership, The Wave is moving toward electric buses for the in-town routes

By the numbers

Things are looking up for The Wave. In 2024, the system will have at least two electric buses and ridership will be free on all routes during the summer season.

  • 19

    Fixed bus routes
  • 4

    Demand-response vehicles
  • 700

    Seasonal bus passes sold in 2023
  • 2

    Electric buses now in the fleet

NRTA Wave Buses Will Be Free To Ride This Summer

N Current (January 18, 2024) — It will be free to ride the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority’s “Wave” buses this summer thanks to a $410,000 state grant obtained by the island transportation agency. Read the full story by Jason Graziadei in the N Current here.

Nantucket Community

Remain Nantucket is committed to supporting the evolution of a healthy year-round community across the island. Remain taps into continuous dialogue to identify challenges and explore solutions. By supporting resourceful thinking and research, Remain builds on Nantucket’s traditions of independence and innovation while adding expertise from a worldwide network. Remain Nantucket, LLC engages in charitable work and community investments as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Schmidt Family Foundation.

Remain Nantucket