STAC Plan Outlines Transit System for Triangle

Posted March 31, 2008

— A half-cent sales-tax increase and an increased vehicle registration fee are two ways to help fund a multibillion-dollar regional transit system, the Special Transit Advisory Commission says in a draft report released Monday.

The 38-member group says the proposed combination of buses, rail systems and "circulators" is needed to help meet the Triangle's growing transportation needs and to help the region compete for new industry and better jobs.

It would likely be in place by 2035, when an estimated additional 1 million people are expected to have moved to the area. That would bring the population to about 2.5 million people.

"Our challenge is to craft and implement a region-wide, multi-modal transit system to support the world-class region we want to become," the commission said in the report.

Among its key recommendations is an enhanced bus network throughout the Triangle that includes express service to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and rush-hour-only bus service to outlying communities.

Another recommendation: "circulators" – initially buses and possibly later on streetcars or trolleys – in downtown areas with a system of park-and-ride lots.

Rail service from Chapel Hill to north Raleigh utilizing diesel rail cars and Light Rail Transit would provide transportation alternatives in some of the most congested corridors of the Triangle.

Commission members are posting their comments and feedback on the draft on a blog. A link is also available on the blog for the public to weigh in on the plan.

The report, when finalized, will go to local leaders to be integrated into their long-range transportation plans.


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  • JDC Apr 2, 2008

    We've got plenty of roads. We need transportation options. You can't expect everyone to drive in a metro area of this size.

  • turnpike420 Apr 1, 2008

    No Tolls on 540 - and sign our petition. So, STAC wants to build a "multi-modal" transit system... yet, they only want MORE of our tax dollars for rail and bus... not roads?? Roads are also an integral part of any transit picture. So what you have here is STAC asking us to pay higher taxes and the NC Turnpike Authority asking you to pay tolls... wait, that's higher taxes AND tolls at the same time?? At the very least, if we are going to pay higher taxes and vehicle fees, let's include the building of 540 and the 147 extension into that plan. Atlanta has their 285, Charlotte their 485, and Raleigh shall have its 540 WITHOUT TOLLS. Thank you.

  • iamforjustice Apr 1, 2008

    2035 is a long time to wait to implement something by the way. It is only projected that the population will be 1 could be more. You never know what could happen in 27 years!!!!

  • iamforjustice Apr 1, 2008

    I keep reading where you say that no one rides the buses in Raleigh and Durham but I have seen buses filled to the brim in Raleigh. I was on New Bern Avenue just yesterday and the buses were full. On the weekends I ride the buses and they are full. I would definitely use a rail if we had one implemented here. Why are you all so negative about this area in trying to improve its growth. I only read negative comments about Raleigh on here.

  • john60 Apr 1, 2008

    Actually widening I-40 from US 1 to Wade Avenue is already in the works. The wide median already out there will help keep costs down (less new R/W and grading needed) and construction shouldn't take long once it starts.

    However, this transit program is a classic bait and switch tactic. One of the keys of it is bus service during rush hour. But, wait; where do the buses travel? Why, on the same congested roads everyone else uses! There's no mention of dedicated bus lanes (to keep the costs down) on I-40, so in other words, this is just an attempt to get the tax increases approved so that they can set up funding for what they REALLY want, which is the light rail system that died a needed death last time.

  • food4thought Apr 1, 2008

    I don't want to pay the tolls but if it makes it feasible such that I don't have to leave my house before 6:30 am and miss seeing my kids each morning so that I can leave at a "normal" time to have a "normal" commute... I unfortunately would pay long as it really reduces my commute by the 15 minutes or so that I expect..... if I am sitting at toll booths to get to work... I will just get back on the secondary roads.

    I don't think it is fair that they make us SW wake county people pay tolls....but at the same time, the commute is so miserable, I would do anything to make it better. I think by the time that the loop comes this way, people will be so fed up with the commute, that they too... would pay any price.. that is probably part of their plan.. delay building the road...make it excruciating for us all so that tolls seems like the PERFECT answer.

  • we-r-just-human Mar 31, 2008

    DOT will be perfect for building the rail system... they have had years of practice of building narrow roads...

  • whatelseisnew Mar 31, 2008


    I feel quite sure during some future decade the rest of the loop will be built. Unfortunately for you, the toll costs will probably stop you from using it. Just say no to the tolls, that is what I do. For those that argue only tolling part is not fair they paid to have the other part built plus the Southern part. Keep this in mind, the building of the thing; we will all share in that part. They can't stick you with tolls until it is built. So all tolling the entire thing will do; is take money out of other peoples pockets. The right answer is no toll on the entire loop. We have paid for it many times over. 6 cents per gallon extra tax since 1989. Put on specifically for loop projects like 540

  • itsnotmeiswear Mar 31, 2008

    I'm all for the light rail and buses. It is hard to change old habits but we better wake up and face the realities of the growth in our area.

  • food4thought Mar 31, 2008

    foetine: people in SW wake county need to work in SW wake county and quit commuting.

    find me a job elsewhere and I will gladly stop commuting to RTP. These days, needing two incomes to makes ends meet.. the likelihood that one income will come from RTP is high since that is where alot of the jobs are.

    Additionally, I purchased my home where it was because of the outer loop was supposed to come down here.

    SW wake county is actually CLOSER mileage wise than Raleigh locations...there is just no great way to get there.. and we can't afford the Cary/M-ville/Raleigh prices.