Raleigh wants people on board for transit plans

Posted August 6, 2012

— A week after Atlanta residents voted down a sales tax increase to fund mass transit projects in the congested city, Raleigh City Council members met Monday to discuss transportation needs in the Capital City.

City Council members said Atlanta's experience shows the importance of getting the public on board with local transit plans, including the proposed Union Station downtown.

The $75 million station is planned for the old Dillon Viaduct Building on West Martin Street and would provide a hub for Amtrak passenger trains, local, regional and interstate buses and eventually commuter and light rail services for the Triangle.

Capital Area Transit bus, CAT bus Raleigh moving on transit projects without sales tax help

The Wake County Board of Commissioners has said it won't put a half-cent sales tax to generate money for transit projects on the ballot for area voters, but Raleigh officials said they are moving forward with Union Station and other projects they see as necessary.

"Every day, I hear the concerns – the lead time, the drop-off time, the crowds on the bus, not enough buses in the area," Councilman Eugene Weeks said. "(Transit) is a big concern."

The city is trying to deal with each area of congestion individually, but the council decided to budget for a permanent transportation planner for a more universal approach.

"I think the big question for transportation people is, 'Where is everybody going?'" Mayor Nancy McFarlane said. "If you just put a bus route in, does that really solve people's issues, because you have to figure, is everyone getting on the Beltline to go to Brier Creek (or) to downtown? It's a small part of bigger picture."

"The key is going to be how much it costs and where we spend it," Councilman John Odom said. "I hope we don't get too stretched out into a big picture where we can't do some small things that we need to do inside the city limits."


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  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Aug 9, 2012

    "I think it would be less expensive on taxpayers to pay for cab fare for everyone who needs a ride, rather than paying for mass transit."

    ^^ This!

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Aug 9, 2012

    another "shovel ready" plan...aka boondoggle.

  • NotRomney Aug 8, 2012

    People complaining about the high gas tax do realize that we are called the "good roads state?" Oh, and also forget that 'gas tax' doesn't include the ridiculous amount of tolls north and south of us.

  • nything25 Aug 7, 2012

    When will people face facts. There are two things that make light rail transportation a viable measure...population density and congested sectors of business. Raleigh doesn't have either of those things. It does very little good to have a transit system that requires you to walk 2-5 miles to get to a stop and 2-5 miles once you get to your "destination" stop. I'm all in favor of increasing the bus system, but they really need to give up this dream of a light rail would be a complete waste of money.

  • superman Aug 7, 2012

    Next thing they will be building is an entertainment complex like he one in RM which was built against the wishes of the taxpayers. Raleigh did the same thing with the convention center. The mayor and the city council wanted it so built it and it is still losing tax payers money. The mayor and the city council should respect the voters and not try to line their pockets with money.

  • mswayze Aug 7, 2012

    it might be worth it to have a spoked wheel tied to the beltline. slow moving open cars(trolleys?) that never brake for anything. could be done solar -down the medians with only a minor path change- sounds like a good excuse for emminent domain greenways in the process.

  • eric4625 Aug 7, 2012

    "Nancy,Chuck and the council crew are just liberal central planners trying to disrupt freedom and liberty-Want to control folks, move them downtown away from the suburbs, it's just a liberal tactic of control." --Fun
    I find it really counterproductive to go off on an this issue (yet another of many), placing blame towards liberals and complaining that any issue and tax consequences on a project such as this should be aimed at liberals "trying to disrupt freedom and liberty." For one reason, since the liberal mindset is completely the FOR freedom and liberty - hence the name "liberal." For another reason, and especially ironic, with respect to this issue in particular: The conservative candidate for Governor, Pat McCrory, is a national advocate for the mass transit and a paid advisor to transit tax campaigns. I hope you'll remember that come election time (if you really pay attention to any issues at hand, instead of simply making your judgments based on labels.)

  • niall Aug 7, 2012

    Crabbit writes "Gas taxes are relatively low in NC..." Relative to where, France? NC's gas taxes are among the highest in the nation.

  • Just the facts mam Aug 7, 2012

    I think it would be less expensive on taxpayers to pay for cab fare for everyone who needs a ride, rather than paying for mass transit.

  • teddyspaghetti Aug 7, 2012

    kcfoxie is right "People won't walk 1/4 a mile in the summer, let alone the fall".....what do you do when it's raining/icy? For this to work, you'd need to at least get folk to the parking lot of their work location - if not the front door.