DelDOT: Sea Witch Festival service will be better
Delaware Transit Corporation has been serving the beach community with DART bus services to residents, employees and tourists since 1990, and we are committed to being part of the transportation solution in our fastest-growing market.
In 2017, we opened the Lewes Transit Center, and DART’s Beach Bus service levels were increased with more frequencies, expanded service areas and extended hours. The season was proven successful with an unprecedented ridership increase of over 21 percent. Ridership continues to grow, and this past season saw another 12 percent increase.
Those positive numbers aside, we know we did not meet expectations with our service for the Sea Witch Festival this year, and for that I personally apologize. This was our first year providing service for the Sea Witch Festival, since last year’s weather put a damper on the event and the parade was cancelled.
While we had six additional buses ready to provide service to the parade in addition to our two regularly scheduled buses per hour, it was quickly apparent that the demand was greater than the service we were prepared to provide.
We were able to put another three buses into service; however, we acknowledge we were underprepared for the very high volume, and we were not able to provide a quality customer experience that we work hard to deliver on a daily basis.
With that said, we learned our lesson the hard way on this one. We have demonstrated our commitment to improving public transit in and around the beach resort area, and I hope guests won’t judge our entire service on this one event.
While I can’t change what happened this year, to make it up to our customers, we will offer free bus service for next year’s Sea Witch parade to all riders, and we hope you will come back then!
Providing safe and reliable public transportation is crucial to Sussex County as it continues to grow, and we will continue to work hard to improve and deliver this service to the community.
Secretary of Transportation
Delaware Department of Transportation