Wake County Transit Plan
Wake County has more than one million residents, and that number grows by an estimated 64 people per day. With them comes congestion. The Wake County Transit Plan gives our residents, as well as visitors, another way to get around our vibrant community without spending time sitting in traffic.
The Wake County Transit Plan includes four “Big Moves.” They encompass the goals of the plan to:
- • Connect the region;
- • Connect all Wake County communities;
- • Create frequent, reliable urban mobility; and
- • Enhance access to transit.
In order to make these moves possible, the plan includes the following steps:
Increase Bus Service
The plan will:
- • Expand existing frequent bus service from 17 to 83 miles, with service at least every 15 minutes;
- • Improve links between colleges and universities, employment centers, medical facilities, dense residential areas, RDU Airport and downtowns; and
- • Operate routes every 30-60 minutes to provide more coverage across the county.
Implement Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
BRT involves building dedicated bus lanes on local roads, so bus operators can bypass traffic and keep their routes on schedule. To implement BRT for the first time in Wake County, the plan will construct approximately 20 miles of BRT-related infrastructure improvements.
Four initial BRT corridors have been identified including the New Bern Avenue Corridor between Raleigh Boulevard and WakeMed; the Capital Boulevard Corridor between Peace Street and the Wake Forest Road intersection; the South Wilmington Street Corridor towards Garner; and the Western Boulevard Corridor between Raleigh and Cary.
Along these corridors, buses would have priority treatment at traffic signals, BRT stops will feature raised platforms, making it easier for passengers with wheelchairs, strollers or bicycles to board the bus.
Implement Commuter Rail Transit (CRT)
CRT will use existing railroad tracks to provide comfortable passenger service that allows riders to relax or work on their way to key destinations.
- • 37 miles of CRT would be in place from Garner to downtown Raleigh, N.C. State University, Cary, Morrisville and the Research Triangle Park continuing to Durham;
- • Up to eight trips would run in each direction during peak hours;
- • One to two trips would run each way during midday and evening hours; and
- • Will leverage the bus network to connect riders with key destinations like RDU Airport.
Funding Local Service
In addition to the above improvements and projects, the Wake County Transit Plan also helps open the door for developing and expanding transit services within local communities in the county who currently do not provide transit services, providing matching funds to municipalities that choose to develop and operate local bus service.
Rural On-Demand Service
Many Wake County residents are dependent on rural, on-demand transit services for travel to and from medical appointments, grocery stores and other necessary destinations. The Wake County Transit Plan will build upon this vital community service. This plan would expand funding to the current Transportation and Rural Access (TRACS) demand-response system that serves the elderly and disabled throughout the county.
What is the estimated cost of the plan, and how will we pay for it?
It will cost about $2.3 billion to build and operate the elements of this plan over the first 10 years.
The transit plan is designed to be funded through a combination of local, state and federal dollars, as well as farebox revenue. The main funding source for the transit plan is the local half-cent sales tax, which will be placed on the November 8, 2016, ballot. Local funding would also include increased vehicle registration fees.
(To view the plan or brochures, you will need Acrobat Reader, available here.)
Previous studies identified a light rail corridor to studied in Wake County. This corridor began in the vicinity of the Triangle Metro Center in Research Triangle Park (RTP) and followed the existing North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) corridor to Downtown Raleigh where it turned northward, continuing on the CSX corridor to Triangle Town Center. The Wake County Corridor could also have included future extensions from Triangle Town Center to Wake Forest and from Downtown Cary to Apex. The corridor had 23 proposed stations.
The Wake County Transit Plan does not currently include this project for further study.