Next City published "Will N.C. Cities Embrace Regional Transportation Plan?" The story highlights Raleigh and the region's rapid growth, and the strategic planning and investment being made to ensure that our great quality of life remains, for all citizens.
The article outlines how the region's transportation plan will increase mobility, calling for investment in bus and commuter rail infrastructure to better serve the area's "economically, socially, and demographically diverse population":
Last year, nearly 23,000 people moved to Wake County. Much of the growing population is made up of minorities, millennials and senior citizens flocking to Raleigh and Durham. Many people commute to employment centers around the Research Triangle Park, to institutions such as Duke University and North Carolina State University, and to Raleigh's downtown. New transit routes would make it easier for residents to commute to these areas more frequently and efficiently.
The article notes that the new plan would triple bus service and increase hours of operation. A 37-mile commuter rail would also connect riders throughout the Research Triangle Park, to major universities, and enhance connections to the airport. All would complement light rail planned to run from Durham to Chapel Hill.
David Eatman, transit administrator for the City of Raleigh and Mary-Ann Baldwin, at-large member of the Raleigh City Council and the City's representative to GoTriangle, are featured:
"Transit is a very important asset to our communities and ensures mobility to our citizens in all jurisdictions, but it's also an important economic driver when you're attracting and retaining businesses and quality talent to the area," says Eatman. He also sees in the plan the potential to positively impact lower-income residents who rely heavily on the city and county's public transportation system.
Baldwin calls the plan a model for regionalized efforts that ultimately encourages improved quality of life for all residents. "[We're a] typical Southern city that has experienced a lot of growth. Many of our communities are very suburban," she says. "Bus service or transit was a second thought. Our population has doubled in the last 20 years. Now we're looking at how we prepare for continued growth."
This is a result of Wake County Economic Development (WCED) and the City of Raleigh's national storytelling campaign, which has placed more than 30 stories in national and international media since the campaign launched at the end of 2014.
About Next City:
Next City provides daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world. The outlet's mission is to inspire social, economic and environmental change in global cities through award-winning journalism. The publication reaches half a million unique visitors per month.