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Raleigh Looks to Boost Buses With Higher Fee for Car Tags

Posted August 3, 2007
Updated August 4, 2007

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— Raleigh drivers, get ready to pay more for your car. Registration fees likely are going up, and the mayor said he wants to use the money to help another form of transportation – buses.

The $5 increase – to $25 – would bring about $1 million more to the city and would go to improve the city bus service, Mayor Charles Meeker said.

Meeker said the City Council had to ask the Legislature for the increase because it did not get all the transportation money it wanted from the state.

More than 4 million people ride Raleigh city buses each year – about 15,000 passenger-trips daily. Denise Forbes is one of the riders, but it's not always convenient for her, she said.

“Going to work, I have to catch a cab from my house to the bus station or a bus stop that’s close enough to get to, then get on the bus,” she said.

Her complaint is that there are not enough buses and not enough stops.

Raleigh’s bus service does not go beyond Interstate 540. There are also pockets within southeast Raleigh where there is no service. Where there is service, passengers can wait as long as an hour on some routes.

"While this increase in the registration fee is helpful," Meeker said, "the overall situation on transportation funding is not helpful in that the great majority of gas-tax money collected here in Raleigh and Wake County, much of it goes outside of Wake County, where it is spent. So, we don't get the full benefit of our gas taxes."

The Raleigh City Council still has to approve the increase now that it has authority to do so. Meeker said that could happen in September or October. If approved, it would likely take effect in 2008.

Other Wake County towns might also raise vehicle fees to meet transportation needs. Residents living in Garner, Holly Springs, Rolesville, Knightdale and Morrisville could pay an extra $10 per vehicle.

25 Comments

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  • RebelRabbi Aug 4, 2007

    Shouldn't it read "Raleigh seeks to restrict the driving priviledge of the poor."?

  • lolly Aug 4, 2007

    The CAT buses in North Raleigh spew a cloud of something when thy start up. At 7 am, when I am driving in to work, I see one maybe 2 heads on the CAT bus besides the driver. Somedays I go in earier. Around Hillsborough Street, two ot three of them line up on a side street and the drivers go into a bagel place for sit down breakfast - this is about 6:45 am. They leave the buses running. If you look at the amount of emissions from a bus and factor how much they ride around town with one or two people on them, I am not sure that they are really doing much for the air.

  • lovecarolinagutters Aug 4, 2007

    I'll gladly pay $5.00 for the buses so people can get on them and go to work as opposed to sitting at home collecting a check, selling drugs or stealing.
    Alot of people depend on the bus to get to work, maybe if we had more buses we would have more people working!!

  • BR549-ssdd Aug 4, 2007

    The American way... Make those who don't use the service pay for it. Tired of being taxed to death.

  • WRALSUCKS Aug 4, 2007

    Oh, who would guess...not ANOTHER tax hike by Demos!????

    Who would imagine

  • ghimmy47 Aug 4, 2007

    If you want to see bus service that WORKS you have to go to Europe. Any street view shows at least 3 buses in view and the wait at any stop is no more than 5 minutes. The savings from mass transit go FAR beyond the simple cost of running buses. All the construction that delays you, the traffic that infuriates you, gas taxes that rob you and the smog that helps kill you come from those cars. Look around in the next "I-40 Parking Lot" you're in at the number of solitary people sitting in 4,000 pounds of smoking steel. Where's the sense in that? Get buses, trains, trolleys or SOMETHING that goes where people want to go when they need to go there. You guys know where the trolleys of America went? GM bought them and issued a 5 gallon can of kerosene for each car to burn them. Undo that crime.

  • cryinshame Aug 4, 2007

    Bend Over Ralieghites, its coming to a home near you, just another way to stick it to the people who worked hard to get ahead, where was their buses and government handouts.??Where is it said , everyone should have all their desires filled at the expense of a certain group to help pay the bill???????????Maybe you could ride that bus to walmart and get the vaseline you'll need to help ease that pain.

  • enderby Aug 4, 2007

    Steve Crisp - They're not really wimps. They've just joined the big government bandwagon, essentially leaving us with one political party. And that party is not looking out for anyone but itself.

  • lizard Aug 4, 2007

    missdawg - check your property tax bill that comes once a year (2 or 3 times if you're like me and pay them late.)

    Problem is if someone runs for office that wants to cut expenses and the safety net (that has become a hammock) for people, no one will vote for them because they would be considered insensitve or racist.

  • missdawg Aug 4, 2007

    Okay, last time I renewed my tags and registration it was $28. As far as I know, that is set by the DMV (which is run by our oh so wonderful state government). Where does this $25 come from? My renewal was $25 until last year. What are these people talking about????

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