For fireworks shows, daily living, buses increasingly important

July 2, 2021

Delaware’s Department of Transportation is loading up with buses for the Rehoboth Beach fireworks Saturday night. Spokesman C.R. McLeod said 24 extra buses are being deployed to get people into and out of the resort for the Saturday night show.

“As we’ve seen in past years, the Lewes Park & Ride will fill before the Rehoboth lot, and we encourage customers to buy a daily pass for $4 with the DART Pass app which will cover trips both into and out of the resort areas,” said McLeod.

In answers to questions about how beach-area ridership is faring this year, he provided the following information:

“To date for the 2021 season, we have had nearly 36,000 riders since the beginning of the beach bus season. During the same time period in 2019, we had nearly 60,000 riders, so while we are currently seeing higher ridership than last year, we are still about 40 percent below where we were in 2019. 

“Some of this decrease can be attributed to the loss of J-1 students who have relied on the beach bus for transportation to and from work, and really poor weather for the majority of Memorial Day weekend. 

“Given the heavy traffic volumes we are expecting through the holiday weekend, the beach bus continues to be a good alternative to sitting in traffic, thanks to the dedicated bus lanes on Route 1. We’ve also added an additional six bus shelters along Route 1 this year to accommodate customers at these stops.”

Buses increasingly important

With area roads more heavily congested this summer than ever before, and local trips taking longer than has been the case in the past, public transportation is becoming more and more attractive and necessary.

Delaware Transit Corporation’s DART buses can often make local trips between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach – especially during the high tourist season – faster than automobile traffic. 

Printed schedules show buses running every 15 or 30 minutes between the Lewes Park & Ride and the Rehoboth Beach Park & Ride, and making the passage in 17 minutes. 

Add another 10 minutes or so for the trip from Rehoboth Park & Ride to the Bandstand in Rehoboth, and the trip doesn’t take much more than half an hour.  

Few people will tell you they can drive from the Lewes Park & Ride to the Boardwalk in that amount of time. And you don’t have to worry about finding a parking place or feeding the meters when you get to Rehoboth.

From the Dairy Queen in Lewes to the Boardwalk in Rehoboth, with a couple of transfers at the park and rides, add another 15 minutes and it’s still a decent trip in an air-conditioned bus, again without the parking hassles or cost at either end. 

A daily pass to ride as many buses as you want in Sussex County costs $4 and buses run from early in the morning until very late at night. That can work well for employees, partiers or people who want to grab a meal in either of the resort towns and avoid the hassle of driving

A cautionary note, though: We are hearing sporadic stories of delays and some buses not showing up – perhaps due to employee shortages.

The Beach Connection that runs between Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays during the summer months makes the run in about two and a half hours.  

People can hop on the bus in Wilmington at 8:30 a.m. and make the Boardwalk by about 11:30. Then they can spend a few hours on the beach, or walk the boards or the shops and get lunch and dinner, and then catch the 8:10 p.m. bus at the Rehoboth Park & Ride and be back in Wilmington by 10:21 p.m. Sleep on the bus! 

Not bad for a daily pass fare of $10. All the passes are cheaper if you have a Medicare card or are a student.

The Delaware Transit Corporation is an operating division of the Delaware Department of Transportation. Its buses are enabling more and more people to live their lives without automobiles in the rapidly urbanizing Delaware Cape Region and Sussex County.




Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter