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Higher Car Fees Could Mean More Buses for Raleigh

Posted August 3, 2007

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

More than 4 million people ride Raleigh city buses each year. Denise Forbes is one of them, 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.

One possible solution is to use cars to help pay for buses. The Raleigh City Council increased the car tax by $5. That means every Raleigh resident will now pay $25 to register their car. If the council approves it, Mayor Charles Meeker said that extra money would be used to enhance bus service.

“This is an increase just in the local fee that has the effect of about $1.2 million,” Meeker said.

“Whether those funds come from this car tax or council funds from another source, those funds will be needed as we move forward years four and five of our transit plan,” said David Eatman, a Raleigh Transit administrator.

Raleigh buses handle about 15,000 passenger trips every day. As the city continues to grow, more people are relying on bus service. The challenge has been keeping up and finding the right balance to ease traffic congestion all over the area.

The council had to resort to a tax increase, because they didn't get all the transportation money they were hoping for from the state, Meeker said.

55 Comments

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  • Trivr Aug 5, 2007

    It's high taxes that divide the have and have-nots. With the sky-high fuel taxes in this state, along with all the other vehicle taxes, fees, registrations, etc., pretty soon you can add an automobile to the growing list of things the lower income folks do not have. House, computer...automobile...

  • Nancy Aug 5, 2007

    ladyblue, right. Light rail is for moving massive amounts of people from various points to a common area. The Triangle is not, outside of RTP, attracting large numbers of people to one central destination.

    Heck, Raleigh doesn't even attract as many day workers as RTP, and yet they talk of rail central to Raleigh.

    We don't have the need or the ridership to support the exhorbitant cost of light rail in the greater triangle area.

  • lolly Aug 5, 2007

    "First, the convention center is being built with hotel and meals taxes, most of which come from people who do not even live here....no skin off your back bucko. "

    Dr. Jones - who do you think is paying the meal tax? Locals, that's who.

  • shecares Aug 5, 2007

    Glad I don't live any where near Raleigh. Love the people hate all those taxes.

  • WXYZ Aug 5, 2007

    Remember not to vote for the name "Meeker" next time. It now seems that ALL Democrats in NC government have turned into Socialists! Hey, I seem to remember that the minimum wage was RAISED. Why can they just raise the bus fares? Socialism is stomping on us almost EVERY DAY!

  • colliedave Aug 5, 2007

    ************************************************************
    ****
    More than 4 million people ride Raleigh city buses each year..
    ************************************************************
    **
    How can this be as Raleigh's population is about 300,000 people. Shouldn't the line read something like there were over 4 million point-to-point rides each year?


    ************************************************************ ****Denise Forbes is one of them, 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. ************************************************************ ****How far is from her home to a bus station/stop? Just asking questions a reporter should have included in the story?

  • ladyblue Aug 5, 2007

    I can't see a light rail unless it goes to surrounding towns. What good does it do people in those areas. If people who live in suburbs have to start up the caar to drive 5-10 miles to a rail stop they may as well drive on to work. There must be a system that will pay for itself and the commuters from the smaller towns are the ones using the highways to get to work. Down town residents can use the bus until they figure a way to help everyone. Quit picking on the residents who own cars. Increase the toll fee to ride the bus to help out.

  • gunnarbiker Aug 5, 2007

    I'm REALLY sure the extra TAX money will be used for a bus system.

    Somehow I just don't buy into it.

  • WRALSUCKS Aug 5, 2007

    "For several years, the Raleigh annual fee has been $15 and was raised to $20 beginning in 2006. That is the one they are going to increase to $25"

    That's a SIXTY SIX percent increase in 3 years!!!!!

  • WRALSUCKS Aug 5, 2007

    "What we need is a light rail system"

    Oh please.... another billion dollar boondoggle hole, to throw moeny down,

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