Voters in November showed their support for building a modern transit system in the Triangle. Now we’re seeing the first steps to implement their vote to create a future that will provide better connections and give drivers more choices as the region’s population grows by leaps and bounds.
In a unanimous vote, the GoTriangle Board of Trustees on Jan. 25 adopted the first annual Work Plan and budget for the Wake County Transit Plan, which lays out transit improvements over the next 10 years. The plan calls for increasing the frequency and reach of bus service and building 37 miles of commuter rail train service from Garner to downtown Raleigh and Durham that would include stops at major towns and universities.
“Voters last November said yes to improvements that will allow us to build a modern public transportation system giving people an alternative to driving in congestion,” said GoTriangle General Manager Jeff Mann. “Our board is fulfilling those promises with today’s vote, taking the first steps to better connect neighborhoods to jobs, education, health care and other important destinations.”
The GoTriangle’s board move comes on the heels of approval by the executive board of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). Both agencies have signed off on the plan as a way to help residents and visitors to connect the region and all Wake County communities with easy access to transit. While residents would be able to hop on a train or bus and head to work, school or a fun outing with ease, the buildout of reliable transit would also be a boon to business, allowing companies to attract workers and driving investment as the transit network expands into new territories.
Bus Riders to See Some Improvements in 2017
As the plan moves ahead, Triangle residents can expect to see some improvements this year that will happen even before new buses are added. Transit staffs are looking at ways to extend routes later into the night and adding more hours in the middle of day and weekends. Specific proposals will be released for public comments later this year.
The plan will be paid for with funds from the voter-approved one-half cent sales tax, vehicle registration taxes and the vehicle rental tax.
To learn more about the Wake Transit Plan, visit, waketransit.com.