Local News

Raleigh Puts Study in Gear for Expanded Downtown Trolley Systen

Posted March 15, 2007

The Raleigh Transit Authority on Thursday approved plans to expand the city’s trackless-trolley system, a move that some say will help ease congestion in downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh’s current system runs three days a week at night and focuses on a short loop between the Progress Performing Arts Center and City Market Place. The new plan would create a link between the new convention center and the rest of the developing downtown district.

The pitch for more service came from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

"These types of systems are really tied to the economic base of your city. We really think the timing is right," the Alliance’s Kristopher Larson said.

In the Alliance’s vision, expanded service would tie in with the opening of the new convention center, perhaps with daily service and stops along Fayetteville Street, in the warehouse district and in Glenwood South.

"The momentum is coming. The development is on its way. We're just creating a way to tie it all together," Larson said.

The booster group is betting the creation of more than 80 new bars and restaurants, several new hotels and thousands of homes will help this system become more effective than one that failed in the 1990’s.

"It's probably time to look at this. It's probably time to do it,” authority Chair Jeffrey Mann said. “We'll have to send it to the route committee and see what their recommendations are."

That committee will determine what the best routes could be and how much expanded service would cost. The possibility of needing to add more of the hyrbrid-fuel vehicles would be factored into a yet-to-be-made decision on whether the system could operate for free, like the current service, or would have to charge a fare.

The plan does not have a target date yet, but supporters want it to be ready by the time the convention center opens. That's set to happen in 2008.


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  • LaLa-Land Mar 16, 2007

    What a joke and a complete waste of money. Raleigh sucks in every way....

  • El Doggo Mar 16, 2007

    Nobody it going to use the damned thing. It is such a waste of time! You can compare raleigh with any place you want. Try San Francisco or any other apples/orange comparison. If you really want aples to apples comparisons try raleigh and dothan alabama or raleigh and charleston west virgina.

    A bunch of small minded people who have never been more than 150 miles from raleigh always seem to want to compare raleigh to real cities as though they thing comparing them will make raleigh like them. How sad!!!

  • Stephen Mar 16, 2007

    The Duck, uh, I mean bus...no...trolley is a fine idea on paper. You get to move a lot of people a short distance in just one vehicle. However, getting people to park their own personal gas guzzlers and use the trolley bus is going to be a lot like herding cats. Maybe they should give away gas coupons on these trolley buses...

  • valleyind Mar 16, 2007

    So what if its a bus. They run these in Vegas (not to compare downtown with the Strip) just to move people from place to place. It may be an open bus designed like a trolley, but there needs to be a shuttle between the night spots and restaurants. What do you people want, Raleigh to install tracks and lines to run an authentic trolley?

  • E-Diva Mar 16, 2007

    It's a great idea. I think they should charge a small fare to help defray costs, and it definitely needs to run till 3 am so the night lifers can use it. It sucks to have to make the decision of wether to go to Glenwood, the Warehouse District or Moore Square because you can do all three when you've been drinking unless you take an expensive cab ride.

  • Stephen Mar 16, 2007

    It's a bus. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

    Oh, and to all of you grammar/spelling checkers out there, I looked on http://cbc-raleigh.com/employ/job_search.asp and they aren't currently hiring any content editors at WRAL. Your résumés will be kept on file for 90 days.

  • ncwebguy Mar 16, 2007

    With the Blount Street project taking away spaces, the timing is perfect for this. Transport state employees from their offices north of the General Assembly building into the Fayetville Street and Glenwood areas (also losing parking spaces to condo projects) during the day, diners in the early evening, and bar hoppers at night.

  • ncwebguy Mar 16, 2007

    This has been up over 24 hours and it is still bad.

    systeM not systeN (in the headline?!?)
    Progress ENERGY Performing Arts Center
    City Market (no "Place")

    There is plenty of bus service between NC State and downtown, via CAT and TTA. State students and employees can ride TTA for *free*.

    The downtown trolley/circulator and interregional transit (TTA rail) are two issues addressing two different problems. The trolley gets people *around* downtown, while TTA rail gets people from downtown Raleigh to North Raleigh, Cary, RTP, downtown Durham, etc.

    The current showtime trolley isn't for everyone. It is for people going to a show at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium to eat in/near city market a few hours earlier. It stops at 11 pm, right when the bars are starting to get lively.

  • superman Mar 16, 2007

    I can hardly wait to visit downtown-- so many things to do and see. But I really want to see downtown is a new Super Wal-Mart-- now-- I be riding that bus everyday to shop. I feel sure that I be seeing John Edwards and his wife shopping there everyday.

  • Screen name Mar 16, 2007

    This is joke right. I wish Raleigh would quit wasting money. The convention center is a prime example. I'm just glad the FSM art type thing didn't happen.