Transit Officials Hope New Buses Will Tempt Commuters
Posted January 20, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — That the Triangle has growing pains is obvious. With more people coming in every month, there is more traffic, which leads to more rush hour headaches. One possible solution may be putting more of those people into mass transportation.
Progress is on its way in the form of 35 new Triangle Transit Authority Buses that will hit stops all over Wake, Durham and Orange counties. When one thinks about Interstate-40 during rush hour, this could be welcome news.
Transit officials said Wednesday that diversity is essential to keeping up with growth, and that the long term answer may take us to the rails.
By this time next year, 35 of the big, new buses will be traveling the triangle. The question is, can enough busy commuters be encouraged to kick the habit of driving their cars?
Motorist Pond Rattana says she enjoys her commute.
Lucinda Wills says she thinks her commute would be even worse on a bus.
Despite some public pessimism, the TTA is investing %5 million in new buses. Some people think it's money well spent.
Bus rider Richard Franck says he finds the commute relaxing when someone else is driving.
The next move to try and clear the logjams along I-40 commuter is rail transit. The TTA is preparing to sink $14 million into planning for that. TTA spokesperson, Jim Ritchie, says another move is needed because the buses are getting popular.
The Triangle has just received $23 million from the federal government that will be split between buses, commuter rail and a new mass transit facility near RDU International airport.
While it might seem like a lot, one politician said Wednesday that, with the Triangle's growth rate, we need to be a mass transit engine of change not the caboose.