CTran

Will Wake County Have Transit? You Decide

Cary, NC – It is the one item Wake County commissioners have said is their top priority and now, the county has passed a resolution to create a transit plan.

Public Transportation in Wake

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted Monday, June 6, 2016 to adopt the recommended transit plan. The Town of Cary has worked with a variety of partners around Wake to try and bring this plan to fruition. Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht has voiced his support through his participation in the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), a group of area mayors.

Among other things, this transit plan will expand bus access across Wake County, give towns a way to fund their own public transportation plans and create a rail system that stretches from Garner to Durham.

The plan was the result of a year-long collaboration between CAMPO, GoTriangle and other Wake County groups such as WakeUp, a non-profit advocacy group in Wake County.

“Public transit in a growing community is not an option,” said Danny Kadis, transportation and land use chair at WakeUp. “It is an absolute necessity: to provide access to employment and services, to guide development, improve health, and to keep our economy strong.”

The transit plan has had its detractors, however. Some feel it does not go far enough, others say they are concerned it will speed up gentrification and one mayor in CAMPO said the plan should be privately funded.

Vote

Make Your Choice

To fund the transit plan, Wake County has decided on a .5 percent increase in local sales tax, as well as other fees on vehicle registration, regional registration, as well as existing taxes on vehicle rental and fare box revenue.

Voters will decide if this is what they want on a ballot initiative on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

“This plan has been in the works for a very long time and has been through many votes already by many groups but the one that really counts will be the one on November 8,” said Cary Mayor Pro Tem Ed Yerha. “There will be a lot of decisions made at the polls that day but none will be more important to the future of Wake County than this one.”

If the plan is passed by voters, it will still be some time before transportation is seen as the hard work of construction and developing new infrastructure begins.

You can also read the Wake County resolution in full.

CTran


Story by staff reports. Photos by Hal Goodtree and the Town of Cary.

3 replies
  1. Len Nieman
    Len Nieman says:

    It’s been a long time coming, and can’t get here soon enough. Study after study shows for every dollar put into a well planned transit system, three dollars (or more) is returned to the economy. It increases access to jobs, which imeans more money spent at businesses and entertainment venues, which in turn generates more tax revenue.

  2. orulz
    orulz says:

    I have some nitpicks about the routes in the plan but generally I support transit and use it regularly and will be supporting this ballot measure.

    I ride the bus #300 from Cary to Morrisville multiple times a week. This enables my family to be a one-car household and saves us a lot of money, which in turn allows my wife to stay at home with the kids. The bus I ride has limited hours of service but I have found that Uber/Lyft make an excellent backup plan for those situations when I can’t ride the bus. (Working late after 7pm; need to get home fast; need to leave in the middle of the day; dangerous weather conditions; etc). Even taking Uber/Lyft a couple times a month for about $12~$15ish, I still come out way ahead compared to owning a car. But without that backup plan, transit probably wouldn’t work for me.

    If we can improve transit so I don’t have to rely on the backup plan as much (ie: extend the service hours and add service in the midday) then I’m all for it.

    • Len Nieman
      Len Nieman says:

      The plan calls for all day service, so folks don’t get stranded in the middle of the day, as part of the improvements it will bring.

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