WILMINGTON — People traveling to or from eastern North Carolina can now add Amtrak to their transportation options.
Starting Wednesday, Amtrak will provide daily service to eight coastal communities. Micah Proffer makes the trip from Wilmington to Athens, Ga. to visit family and friends about every other month. Proffer said he actually prefers the train, but to catch one he needs a ride to Charleston, S.C.
"I have to rely on my sister to get around right now. She has two kids, she's in school. It's a lot to deal with," said Proffer.
Tuesday, Proffer overheard some good news while waiting for the Greyhound. Amtrak announced its new Thruway Bus Service to Eastern North Carolina. The service consists of two routes; one stopping in Greenville, New Bern, Havelock, and Morehead City and the other stopping in Goldsboro, Kinston, Jacksonville, and Wilmington.
"We needed to connect eastern North Carolina which has got a void relative to our network. Once it was evaluated, we saw this was a great service to put in place and it would benefit not only eastern North Carolina but the Amtrak Network as well," said Amtrak's Director of Government Affairs Todd Stennis
The bus service will make two stops a day taking passengers to and from the Amtrak station in Wilson. From there, they can catch the Palmetto train which runs twice a day and serves 20 stations between New York and Savannah Georgia.
"They can go to 500 plus destinations that Amtrak serves by train or the 350 plus thruway services that we have that connect to those train stations throughout the country," said Stennis.
Travelers can book a trip over the phone, online, or using the mobile app. While passengers may be getting on a bus and a train; that does not require buying two tickets. When booking a trip that uses the Thruway bus service, it secures a seat to the final destination.
Amtrak officials said ticket prices depend on travel dates and when passengers book the ticket.