State News

Counties could get transit funds in House bill

Posted March 11, 2009
Updated March 12, 2009

— Sales taxes or vehicle registration fees could be raised in all of North Carolina's 100 counties to pay for public transportation projects in legislation that cleared a House panel.

The bill approved Wednesday by the House Transportation Committee would allow halfpenny sales-tax increases in five urban counties and quarter-cent increases in 94 other counties if approved by local voters.

Proceeds could be used as matching money for a proposed state fund for public transit grants. The bill is supported by environmental and transportation advocates as a way to reduce traffic congestion and build more walkable areas.

“Conventional wisdom in the transit business is that people will walk a quarter to a half a mile to get to transit and if they do that, they're not going to have to use their car,” Triangle Transit general manager David King said.

Raleigh looking into more transit-friendly, communities Raleigh looks towards transit-friendly

Raleigh's population grew 3 percent last year, to 385,507, according to an estimate released last month. With more people expected, city leaders are looking for eco-friendly ways to manage the growth.

“We believe we've oversupplied on the suburban, single-family homes that you drive to and we're seeing across the country the markets now asking for more compact, walkable communities," Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said.

The measure has a long way to go. It next goes to the House Finance Committee.

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  • Bendal1 Mar 12, 2009

    mjeffrey,

    I'd say having a major university surrounded by a little town also helps Chapel Hill's transit system. Of course part of it is that people like free things too, even when they end up paying for them through taxes instead of directly out of their wallet.

  • colliedave Mar 11, 2009

    Make mass transit users pay their own way and make it a for-profit business

  • mjeffrey Mar 11, 2009

    for those complaining about transit funding, consider the following
    Durham-$1 fare; 13,000 daily ridership
    Raleigh-$1 fare; 13,000 daily ridership
    Chapel Hill- fully subsidized; 24,000 daily ridership
    Point being, funding helps

  • Just the facts mam Mar 11, 2009

    Great - I cannot wait to vote NO on this!

  • whatelseisnew Mar 11, 2009

    68_polara - I am with you on that. The time is long past gone where all revenue collected as a result of car and truck drivers go to where it should go, building and maintaining infrastructure. If they applied all the revenue associated with the industry they could eliminate the gasoline tax, and you sure as heck would not need any tolls or road bonds. It would more than pay for itself.

  • discowhale Mar 11, 2009

    Hey, why SHOULDN'T people in New Hill or Wake Forest pay for buses and mass transit they won't ever use? It's fair for "all of us to pitch in" to help the whole of the county. Which, of course, fits in PERFECTLY with people with incomes over $250,000 needing to be knocked down for the good of those less fortunate.

    I'm glad I'm poor and yet not beholding to "them".

  • methinkthis Mar 11, 2009

    RECESSION - come on now - say it, it means tough times, you DO NOT raise taxes in tough times! Especially you do not raise taxes for something that can only service a small number of people. The vast majority of the people in our spread out region can not make use of public transportation because the cost in time and fares is beyond the value. Why turn a 30 minute commute into an 1 1/2 hour multiple bus ride? Note to legislators: do not raise taxes. I for one am going to be spending less and paying less taxes and if you raise them I will be paying even less to compensate.

  • Bendal1 Mar 11, 2009

    With the way things are going, the legislators actually think the voters will voluntarily approve a tax increase for a program that never has and never will accomplish anything worthwhile? I don't think so.

  • 68_polara Mar 11, 2009

    Public transit should be required to pay for it's self with ticket fares. This is the only way for public transportation to run safely and efficiently. In Durham the subsidized price of a tickets and transfers has given gang members a place to hang out in the winter time when it's cold.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Mar 11, 2009

    so NOW...you all (and Me) will be paying for more empty CAT (and others like them) busses running all over the state