Wake County's Mass Transit: Now And The Future

Wake County is among the country’s leading communities taking a proactive stance to increase ridership and employ electric transportation. There are many approaches already underway addressing these issues. 

One is the improved Raleigh CAT (Capital Area Transit) bus system. Its free fare R-Line service has been successful in attracting ridership in the downtown area.

Another is Project Get Ready, an initiative to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles nationwide. Raleigh is a partner city for this effort, joined by Advanced Energy, Duke Energy, the Rocky Mountain Initiative and Progress Energy, which plans to pay for erecting 10 plug-in stations on downtown Raleigh city-owned property by next year. Each will consist of a pedestal with a plug in it to juice up a car, plus signs and a parking space. More info can be found from the Triangle Electric Auto Association

A third is Triangle Transit, which operates regional bus and shuttle service for and within Wake, Durham and Orange counties. Its popularity is growing – TT reported a 28 percent jump in bus ridership between July 2008 and February 2009 over the same period a year earlier. 

For the future, TT has proposed a combination of a $2.2 billion, 56-mile light rail system to connect Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill and expanded bus service across the region. Wake alone would see 100 new buses, primarily for express service between municipalities.

The state has approved legislation that authorizes referenda in Triangle counties to fund this through a half-cent sales tax, and authorizes other funding measures for transit. Voters must pass the referenda for it to go into effect.

For the latest information on Wake mass transit activities, visit the TT Web site as well as WakeUP Wake County, a nonpartisan advocacy group calling for increased mass transit.


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