Traffic

Commuters urged to try out public transit

Posted September 28, 2009

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— This week, the Triangle will show off what officials and users believe is a well-kept secret for reducing stress and saving the environment: public transit.

"Try Transit Week" is an annual campaign by Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA), Cary Transit (C-Tran), Capital Area Transit (CAT), North Carolina State University's Wolfline and Triangle Transit.

Weeklong events include free-fare days, a food drive, scavenger hunt and appreciation days for riders and operators.

'Try Transit Week' hits the Triangle 'Try Transit Week' hits the Triangle

Users touted public transportation as a stress-free way to navigate Triangle traffic.

"When you get to the office, you're refreshed, ready to go, without having to fight the frustration of the drive in every morning," bus rider Scott Poole said.

"I actually get to work on time. I'm not stressed about getting to work late," said Kristine Otte, who commutes in a Triangle Transit van with 12 other people. "I actually get home on time and can cook a good, decent dinner every night."

Most riders said they save about $100 a month by using public transportation.

"I can put $25 in my gas tank, and it can last two weeks," bus rider Sharrell Macklin said. "A lot of people can't say that. So I will be riding the bus forever if I can."

Energy officials said the cumulative effect of mass public transit benefits the environment.

"Instead of a 10-mile personal commute, you can save about 10 percent off your carbon footprint a year," Progress Energy spokesman Drew Elliot said.

Ridership on all five transit systems increased by double digits in the 2007-2008 fiscal last year. Triangle Transit recorded an all-time high of more than 1 million trips in that year.

Transportation officials said that as more people use public transportation, more convenient routes will be added.

For now, transit users said they think they've found a deal.

"It's the best-kept secret in town as far as I'm concerned," Poole said.

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  • WXYZ Sep 29, 2009

    Hmmmm. A few choose to attack the writer, rather than what was written. ...sad, so sad.

    Reality Check: The majority of workers and nonworkers in the greater Raleigh area, earn enough money to afford to provide their own home and transportation by car. They are suburbanites who live and work in and around Raleigh because things are spread out, not compacted in. When the population density is great enough, and there is no place to park at home or at work, then many people will choose to leave...myself included. The city "planners" know this, but nevertheless they have been, and will continue to increase areas of high population density through out Wake County. There have been those who have tried start privately owned and operated bus system, which would serve all paying customers, according to their needs. But the city and county will not allow competetion in public transportation. The CAT are only part of the government funded welfare system, which helps the less fortunate.

  • lkanzig Sep 28, 2009

    well if this is anything like their pathetic idea for a commuter train, we will be forced to deal with more roads and congestion! i would be more than happy to explain my idea of a mass transit system. you would not have to have as many busses and you could serve all of the triangle and surrounding communities. it just seems that the politicians and their crews can do is spend money on worthless studies for years and not do anything to go forward. a few years ago they could have had federal dollars for the project, but dragged their feet and we lost out. all we need to do is have some common sense enter into the political system here instead of the good ol boy network, which clearly does not work!

  • csplantlover Sep 28, 2009

    I say if you absolutely HAVE to ride a bus, then more power to ya! If not, then stay safe and stench-free....

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 28, 2009

    The problem with mass transit is that funding from needed road construction is diverted to mass transit in the hope that people will ride the bus.

    In Raleigh, people aren't riding the bus and needed road construction isn't happening because of the money that's being diverted to the failed attempt at mass transit.

  • CaryCrazzy Sep 28, 2009

    Can we clean Moore Square please!

    looks like a Hobo hotel!

  • ncwebguy Sep 28, 2009

    The government *requires* parking spaces for businesses, which creates acres of dead space, reducing density and making people feel they "have" to drive. CAT is $1/ride, TTA is $2 each way. No one spends $12/day for a bus here.

    Roads and parking cost more than the gas taxes collect.

    Empty buses are more than likely out of service. No one can ride them because they are going back to storage.

    There are 3-4 riders at the end of a route or extreme end of a loop, but that is *not* the "majority" of bus trips.

    Road congestion and widening is reduced by taking bus riders' cars off the road. And it keeps wages, and as a result, prices low by letting low-wage workers get around without having to buy, maintain, and insure a car.

    It reduces the wear and tear on roads, reduces road congestion, helping people who choose to drive.

    Mass transit enables mobility for people with physical and mental handicaps, so they don't have to be a burden on someone else.

  • csplantlover Sep 28, 2009

    I see what rides on buses and have NO desire to even sit in the same seat! Yuck! I'll stick to my compact car that gets great gas mileage and gets me to work unharmed and not wreaking like the gutter.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 28, 2009

    "Just driving by the Moore Square stop is scary enough. No thanks - jimid8"

    It isn't a bad place as long as you have a bullet proof vest.

  • TRivers Sep 28, 2009

    Just driving by the Moore Square stop is scary enough. No thanks

  • kcfoxie Sep 28, 2009

    NCPACKER & the rest of you who think the busses are some evil smog machines. The new busses that TTA has are clean diesels, I've seen one of them smoke and it smoked less than my 1984 Mercedes diesel. Also most all the Raleigh buses use a B20 Biodiesel blend, which cuts the already less than that of a similar gasoline V8 CO2 down by another 20 to 30% to that of standard petrol diesel.

    They are actually no worse on smog or green house gasses than your gas powered car. Pollution per mile, not pollution per gallon. We have always calculated that backwards.

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