Local News

Poll: Support remains strong for public transit in Orange, Wake counties

Posted May 15, 2012

— Support for public transit remains strong for the third year in a row in Orange and Wake counties, where voters appear to support a half-cent sales tax to improve transportation.

That's according to a poll released Tuesday by the Regional Transit Alliance, a group of local engineers and city and business leaders working to relieve traffic congestion in the Triangle.

Nearly 60 percent of Orange County voters support a sales tax. Support dropped slightly in Wake County but numbers remain above 50 percent, the group said.

Of those polled, nearly 50 percent in Orange County said they use public transit occasionally, while more than 75 percent of voters in Wake County said they never use the service.

Less experience with transit was a factor in the Wake County numbers, said Paul Fallon, of Fallon Research and Communications Inc., which conducted the poll.

"In Wake County, support has remained positive but has not grown to the level where a clear consensus has developed," Regional Transit Alliance Chairman Clymer Cease said in a news release. "The RTA encourages the county to continue informing the community about the benefits of transit and to evaluate the proposed transit plans through sustained, broad outreach. Wake County continues to grow rapidly and the benefits of transit will only increase over time."


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  • will9 May 16, 2012

    With Durham and Orange moving ahead on transit, Wake County could find itself at a severe disadvantage in the future if we don't act on this plan. Let's not condemn ourselves to one type of transportation, acres of pavement, and foreign oil dependence. Transportation infrastructure, whether road or rail, is expensive! Looking into the future, investing some of our resources into mass transit is the only responsible course. This plan, which represents a very conservative implementation of multiple transit strategies, will only go where metrics have clearly shown it will work. It is the most timid of beginnings to a transit system possible. If we miss this opportunity, future business growth will occur elsewhere. Because of the interconnected Durham and Orange plans, now is the best opportunity to bring Wake County into the 21st century!

  • unc70 May 16, 2012


    Much of the rail infrastructure parallel to I-40/I-85 already exists. It is called th NC Railroad and is the reason NC developed cities in the Piedmont Crescent from Raleigh to Charlotte, and that is why the Interstates follow similar routes.

    While not specifically for commuter rail, many of the track and crossing upgrades ongoing for passenger and freight service will help future commuter options. Commuter service in the Triad would make sense long term, demand is much higher coming from east of Raleigh to RTP and Durham. A series of relatively small, self powered rail cars shuffling back and forth would be a good investment.

    Efforts to kill or to privatize the NC RR are among the more shortsighted ideas regularly promoted by posters here.

  • grimreaper May 16, 2012

    I am sorry, but when I see three buses at the mall at 8am and ZERO people getting off of them...I don't see the value...they just blindly drive around...its a waste...certainly there are some efficiencies they could be doing like requesting that for some buses at certain times people call or otherwise request pickup...

  • piene2 May 16, 2012

    Money spent on public transportation is money well spent. I only wish we had more of it here where I live.

  • bigal02282 May 16, 2012

    As with everything else, there are always two sides to any story. Why not ask, "Would public transportation benefit or harm the citizens where it is placed into service?" Do not look at just the immediate return. Also try and project out a decade or two. Look at all the factors that might influence it. The rise or fall in fuel costs. The alternatives and the cost of alternatives. Public vs private sector funding. (For Profit or not for profit). Where has it worked, and where has it failed, over enough time for a complete analysis to occur. What are the projected population densities in the next decade or two, and where would this population come from. How much of the population increase would be accountable from areas that have existing mass transport that works and is used heavily? You know, questions like that, rather than blank statements for or against something you have no idea about.

  • tommys5 May 16, 2012


    This is the link to the poll (cough, cough) if you choose to call it that being WRAL did not think it was worthy. Notice question # 5 and #14 . If 40% of the polled do not work where did they conduct this poll ? Maybe the UNC library or Carol Woods Retirement Comm.

  • venitapeyton May 16, 2012

    Some towns have to refund money for track that wasn't used. So perhaps NC folks are assuming that it would make Raleigh a big time City.


  • seaweaver1 May 16, 2012

    Mr David King seemed a bit petulant in having to wait for the BOCC to render a vote. While at the podium lamenting on the time and delay the BoCC took in offering Public Sessions often stamping his boots upon the podium base and later offering loud rebuttals to the Public when came their turn to speak. This is reflective of the manner in which TTA seems to bully their desires upon Orange County in the full court press to create "something"
    This Poll conflicts w/ others showing only municipalities pining for the rail.There is only one Citizens group for it.
    Everyone should look at the FTA data on Charlotte. They are losing $20 per rider.
    This idea is ICLEI, it is United Nations Agenda 21. All anyone need to do is read their plans.

  • seaweaver1 May 16, 2012

    Rural Orange is an after thought in this proposed transit plan. The flippant and nonchalant dangling of Federal/State funding as the primary source of funding for the light rail portion begs recollection of the disastrous state the Union is in and that tax revenues for the next 3 generations has already been spent. We and the rest of the nation will be paying for this Light Rail in our sleep while it serves a select minority. Up here in the northern end of the county our average ambulance response time is 45 minutes, we need that fixed and receive something more than a 2 hour wait for an "on demand" bus service... before we need to pay for a light rail, UNC/Duke employee transit for a city that charges no fare for its buses... operating on 4-6 lane roads at a posted 35 mph.
    Election Year politics....and two of those voting for... know where their votes come from...no matter how staggering the costs will be. Chris Weaver

  • ur1friend May 16, 2012

    Not by all of us.