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GoTriangle wins a $25 million federal grant to better connect the region through a transit hub at RTP

GoTriangle wins a $25 million federal grant to better connect the region through a transit hub at RTP

Durham, NC l June 26, 2024 

The U. S. Department of Transportation has awarded GoTriangle a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Grant to help build the Triangle Mobility Hub – a multimodal transportation center – in Research Triangle Park.

As the regional transit agency, GoTriangle has been working to improve regional transit connectivity, and this federal RAISE grant will allow for a giant leap in that effort, says GoTriangle President and CEO Charles Lattuca. He says the funding came following U.S.DOT’s review of the application’s merit and with the support of elected officials, including Rep. Deborah Ross (NC-2), Rep. Valerie Foushee (NC-4), Rep. Wiley Nickel (NC-13), U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and U.S. Sen. Ted Budd.  

“We are grateful to our elected officials for helping us secure this funding,” Lattuca says. “Their support helped us move forward with this project. The mobility hub will provide better linkages between local and regional bus service, on-demand microtransit and future bus rapid transit and passenger rail projects.”  

The relocation of GoTriangle’s transit center from its current location to RTP will not only provide more efficient bus service for riders, but it will also help drive new transit-oriented development in the park, Lattuca says.

“Like the RUS Bus project in Raleigh, we expect commercial and residential development will occur directly adjacent to the mobility hub,” he says. “We look forward to working with our partners at the Research Triangle Foundation as they develop the site.”

Proposed rendering of future RTP Transit HubThe $58.2 million mobility hub will be located at the intersection of NC Highway 54 and the railroad corridor owned by North Carolina Railroad Company, a site chosen after extensive study. By its design and location, this hub will support fast, frequent, and reliable transit service by providing a safe, convenient, and accessible place to transfer to many modes of transit, says Brenda Howerton, chair of GoTriangle’s Board of Trustees.  

“Travelers will be able to access crucial first- and last-mile connections, whether that’s on two wheels or microtransit,” Howerton says. “Excellent transit allows everyone to easily access jobs, health care, education, recreation, and life’s opportunities. This hub will strengthen connections among the Triangle’s universities, community colleges, and businesses, supporting upward mobility and improved quality of life.”

Residents of the greater Triangle region, including the more than 55,000 employees who commute to Research Triangle Park, will benefit from faster, more reliable, affordable, and sustainable transportation options thanks to the Triangle Mobility Hub, says Scott Levitan, president and CEO of Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina.

Map of current RTC and future transit hub"As a first-of-its-kind transit investment in RTP, this transformative project will enhance access to not just employment, but also to education, workforce training, health care, shopping, recreation, and affordable housing,” Levitan says. “The Triangle Mobility Hub will help reduce transportation disparities and improve economic mobility for our region. We appreciate the dedication and vision of our local, regional, and federal leaders and transit partner organizations, especially GoTriangle and our congressional representatives, for working collaboratively to advance this significant investment.

Economic and environmental benefits 
Beyond helping travelers easily get around the Triangle region, the mobility hub is expected to generate $270 million in economic returns over a 30-year period, based on a benefit-cost analysis using U.S. DOT criteria. The analysis shows that the project will generate more than $5 of benefits for every dollar spent, using 2022 dollars.  

And sustainability benefits also will flow to the community. Based on its location near bus routes, the hub is expected to result in fewer fossil fuel emissions than GoTriangle currently generates because buses will travel shorter distances on routes and because the regional agency will be able to electrify its existing bus fleet faster. Also, due to anticipated ridership increase at the hub, overall vehicle miles traveled is expected to drop, a factor that will help the Triangle region at an opportune time, when Raleigh is reported to have topped U.S. cities in vehicle miles traveled per capita. And the hub is expected to reduce the number of cars traveling on Interstate 40 through RTP, the busiest stretch of highway in North Carolina, reducing emissions.

What does the mobility hub feature? 
The new facility will include additional covered boarding bays with electric bus-charging infrastructure; covered drop-off spaces for paratransit, microtransit and rideshare vehicles; and priority bus access to the facility, ensuring comfortable and reliable transfers for riders taking regional trips or making last-mile connections. The grant award includes funding for up to 10 new battery-electric buses that will support new and expanded bus service to the mobility hub.  

How is it funded? 
In addition to the $25 million federal RAISE grant, the project will be funded with local allocations from the voter-approved, dedicated half-cent sales tax for transit in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. An additional $5.5 million of the cost will be supported by federal funds that the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization awarded to the project. Rep. Deborah Ross, Rep. Valerie Foushee and Rep. Wiley Nickel requested a further $9 million to support the project as a part of the FY 2025 Appropriations bill. Federal funding awarded to this project will allow sales tax revenues to support other transit priorities within the region.  

“We appreciate the support of our county elected officials and community partners,” Lattuca says. “It takes a collective vision to bring about the kind of transit that will raise the quality of life of a growing region.”

This is the second major grant that the federal government has awarded to GoTriangle to build multimodal facilities that will support transit-oriented development in six years. In 2018, GoTriangle was awarded $20 million for its Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility project. RUS Bus is under construction in downtown Raleigh's warehouse district and is scheduled to open in 2025.

Here’s what elected officials say about the Triangle Mobility Hub: 
“I’m incredibly excited to see a historic $25 million coming to GoTriangle through the RAISE program – crucial funding that will drive economic growth, enhance mobility and create more sustainable infrastructure throughout our region,” says Rep. Deborah Ross (NC-2). “I fought to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which made today’s announcement possible, and supported GoTriangle’s grant application because every Triangle resident – regardless of their ZIP code – deserves reliable transportation to get connected to education, employment opportunities, affordable housing and more. I will always fight for federal funding that will bring our infrastructure into the 21st century and ensure every North Carolinian has access to quality, affordable transportation.”

“I am thrilled to see $25 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law being invested in the Research Triangle for local multimodal and green-energy transportation infrastructure,” says Rep. Valerie Foushee (NC-4). “This RAISE grant will help fund the creation of a new local transportation center and sustainable bus system to be used by families and small businesses in the ever-growing Research Triangle Park, and I look forward to seeing the transformative impact that this project will have on carbon emissions, road congestion and job accessibility in the region for years to come.” 

“The Biden/Harris Administration is delivering for North Carolina, and I’m excited to see $25 million being awarded to GoTriangle for the Triangle Mobility Hub and SPOKE project,” says Rep. Wiley Nickel (NC-13). “This investment, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow for 10 new battery-electric buses, charging stations and go a long way in constructing a next-generation transportation center in the Triangle. This funding will support investments in green jobs, clean energy infrastructure and sustainable transportation initiatives. In addition to this funding, I was glad to join Congresswoman Ross and Congresswoman Foushee in submitting a $9 million supplemental funding request to support this effort as part of the FY 2025 Appropriations bill.” 

Note to news media members: For interviews and additional information, please contact GoTriangle Chief Communications Officer Eric Curry, at or 919-632-9326.