Wake County Commissioners Take Next Steps with Transit Plan Funding

The Wake County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 5 took action to authorize two key funding sources for the Wake County Transit Plan.

They include:

  • A $3 increase in the Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax; and
  • A new $7 Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax.

These local funding sources are in addition to the one-half percent local sales and use tax referendum passed by voters in the 2016 General Election.

Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax

Since 1991, a $5 Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax has been collected annually on qualifying motor vehicle registrations in Durham, Orange and Wake counties to fund transportation services in these three counties. The board’s action authorizes increasing that tax to $8 and would go into effect for registration renewal offers mailed in July 2017.

The additional $3 would be used to fund the Wake County Transit Plan only. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles would collect the tax and provide it to GoTriangle. It is estimated that a full year of funding will result in approximately $2.5 million of new revenue.

Following the Wake County Commission’s authorization, the tax increase will now go before the GoTriangle Special Tax Board and Board of Trustees for approval, which is expected to take place in January 2017.

Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax

The new $7 Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax would be charged on all qualifying motor vehicles registered in Wake County. Upon execution of the Implementation Agreement also approved on December 5, NCDMV would collect the tax and remit it to GoTriangle for the implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan.

The new tax is estimated to generate about $6 million over the course of a full year. The new tax would go into effect for registration renewal offers mailed in July 2017.

For more information on the funding of the Wake County Transit Plan, visit www.waketransit.com/transitplan.

Voters Approve Wake County Transit Plan Referendum

In the 2016 General Election, Wake County voters made their voices heard and approved a one-half cent local sales and use tax referendum to fund the Wake County Transit Plan.

The transit plan will help residents get where they need to go more easily. It will provide improved connections within Wake County and across the Triangle region through expanded bus service and commuter rail from Garner to Durham.

What Happens Next?

Over the next few months, the GoTriangle Board of Trustees will take the steps necessary to put the sales tax increase into effect in Wake County. It is expected that the additional tax will be collected starting in spring 2017.

Once GoTriangle begins collection of the tax, residents and visitors will start to see parts of the plan come to life, such as increased bus service in certain corridors, increased frequencies on some existing routes and extended bus service hours. Other steps such as implementation of dedicated lanes and stations for bus rapid transit and commuter rail will take place over the middle to later years of the 10-year plan.

 

 

How Will the Wake Transit Plan be Implemented?

During this election cycle, Wake County voters will see a referendum on their general election ballot for a one-half percent local sales tax increase to partially fund the Wake County Transit Plan.

The referendum is a major step towards the funding that will be required for the plan. If voters approve the referendum, the partner agencies that helped develop the plan will be ready to begin implementing the plan, bringing improved and expanded transit service to Wake County as funding from the referendum and other sources becomes available.

With so many agencies involved in transit in the county, how will this plan roll out, and who will lead the effort?

That is where the Transit Governance Interlocal Agreement comes in. The Interlocal Agreement, or ILA for short, spells out agency roles and responsibilities, and ensures that tax dollars generated by the sales tax increase will be used for their intended purpose – to fund the Wake County Transit Plan. The ILA will also guide the planning, funding and construction of the plan.

For example, it establishes that the GoTriangle Board of Trustees and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Board will jointly set the direction of transit investment.  The ILA also requires that all parties involved in the transit plan review and approve planning documents on an annual basis. In addition, it also guides the public outreach and involvement process to ensure transparency with residents as the plan is implemented.

Having this agreement allows all partners to be ready to begin implementing the plan as soon as possible if voters approve the referendum in November. For more information on the ILA, and to view the document, visit waketransit.com/ila.

Wake County Transit Plan Referendum on 2016 General Election Ballot

transit-votingIn the 2016 General Election, voters will see a referendum on their ballot for a one-half percent (1/2%) local sales tax increase to partially fund public transportation systems.

This additional tax, along with local, state, and federal dollars, as well as farebox revenue, will fund the implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan. Local funding would also include increased vehicle registration fees.

The Wake County Transit Plan is estimated to cost about $2.3 billion to build and implement over its first 10 years of operation.

The goals of the plan are to:

  • Connect the region;
  • Connect all Wake County communities;
  • Create frequent, reliable urban mobility; and
  • Enhance access to transit.

The Wake County Board of Elections has educational resources available online for voters. You can view your ballot for the Nov. 8 election, find your polling location and check your voter registration information.

If you have any questions regarding election processes and procedures, please contact the Board of Elections at 919-856-6240.

GoTriangle Videos Give Inside Look at BRT and CRT

The Wake County Transit Plan is designed to better connect our growing community and enhance how we get to work, school, medical appointments and other key destinations. While the plan includes an increase in bus service throughout the county, it also includes two projects that would bring new transit options to our area.

The Wake County Transit Plan, if funded, introduces Commuter Rail Transit (CRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the region, and incorporates new and existing bus service to complement these options.  This November, the half-cent sales tax referendum will be on the ballot. The sales tax is the primary funding source for implementing the transit plan.

Many places across the country have already invested in similar interconnected, regional transit networks that use a combination of bus, bus rapid transit, commuter rail and other modes, all working together.

In a pair of recently published videos, posted below, GoTriangle takes us for a ride on the Bus Rapid Transit and Commuter Rail lines in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to show what both look like in other cities. The videos also introduce us to Michael London and Shaun Simmons Smith, two commuters who rely on these modes of transportation every day.  London and Simmons Smith both credit the frequency, speed and reliability of BRT and commuter rail in making their commutes easier and stress-free.

As a community growing by approximately 64 people per day, Wake County is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. We’ve worked with local stakeholders to develop a transit plan that will fit the needs of our community.

New Brochures Now Available!

With the recent adoption of the Wake County Transit Plan and the upcoming sales tax referendum on the ballot this November, our team is on the move, making sure all residents have access to the latest information regarding the plan.

Updated transit plan brochures have been distributed throughout Wake County to our local transit systems; chambers of commerce; town and city government offices; and county libraries, parks and public health locations. The new brochures will also be available at upcoming farmers’ markets and various festivals, and used during presentations made about the plan to local organizations.

Want to view it now? You can check out the new brochure online in English and Spanish.

We have also made important changes to this website. In addition to hosting the plan document, the Wake County Transit Plan page of this site now features an overview of what the plan includes, such as the installation of Bus Rapid Transit corridors, expansion and increased frequency of current bus service, and the launch of commuter rail, which will connect communities throughout our growing region.

Our goal is to make sure that all Wake County residents are informed. You can help by sharing this information with your friends and family.

If you would like a presentation about the plan or know of any groups in your area that would be interested in learning more, please contact Tim Maloney, director of Wake County Planning, Development and Inspections, at 919-856-6678 or tmaloney@wakegov.com.

Wake County Transit Plan Officially Adopted

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to officially adopt the Recommended Wake County Transit Plan on Monday, June 6. They join the governing boards of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and GoTriangle, which approved the plan and corresponding Transit Governance Interlocal Agreement in May.

The implementation of the transit plan depends upon obtaining funding. In addition to adopting the plan, the board also voted to authorize placing a one-half percent (1/2%) local sales tax referendum on the Nov. 8, 2016, ballot. Upon GoTriangle placing the referendum on the ballot and approval by voters, this funding would be used to finance the implementation of the transit plan.

In the first full fiscal year of the plan, the sales tax collected and allocated for the plan is estimated at $78.5 million. In accordance with state law, the proceeds of the tax may only be used for the implementation of the transit plan.

Now that the recommended plan has officially been adopted, transit partners will continue to go out in the community to educate residents on the plan. As always, we welcome any feedback, questions or comments on the Wake County Transit Plan. Feel free to contact us at 919-856-5477 or at waketransit@wakegov.com.

Wake County to Hold Public Hearings June 6 for Recommended Transit Plan

With approval from the governing boards of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and GoTriangle in May, the Recommended Wake County Transit Plan will now go before the Wake County Board of Commissioners for consideration. Before the commissioners vote on the plan during their regular meeting on Monday, June 6, they will hold a public hearing to allow the public to share their thoughts on the plan with the board.

The hearing will take place during the regular meeting that starts at 2 p.m. in the Commissioners Board Room of the Wake County Justice Center, located at 301 S. McDowell St. in Raleigh. Following the hearing, the Board of Commissioners will hold their vote on the recommended plan. Should the board vote to approve the plan, a second public hearing will take place at the meeting regarding the board’s ability to place a one-half cent sales tax increase on the November ballot. The board will then vote on this action after this public hearing.

Residents interested in providing comments at the hearings should sign in before the meeting starts. Anyone unable to attend can submit comments in advance of the hearings via email at waketransit@wakegov.com or by calling 919-856-5477. The Board of Commissioners meeting will be broadcast live on Raleigh Television Network (RTN) Channel 11 and on the Board of Commissioners web page.

GoTriangle Board Approves Recommended Wake County Transit Plan

The GoTriangle Board of Trustees on May 25 unanimously voted to approve the Recommended Wake County Transit Plan and to enter into an interlocal agreement with Wake County and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). This is the second of three votes needed to formally adopt the plan and put it on the ballot this fall.

“We enthusiastically back the Recommended Wake County Transit Plan, an important investment in more transportation choices and better connections for our rapidly growing region,” said GoTriangle Board of Trustees Member Fred Day, who represents Wake County. “Through this plan, more frequent bus service will cover larger areas and span longer hours.”

With CAMPO and GoTriangle’s approval, the plan will now go before the Wake County Board of Commissioners for consideration at its meeting on Monday, June 6. This meeting will take place at 2 p.m. in the Commissioners Board Room of the Wake County Justice Center, located at 301 S. McDowell St. in Raleigh.

Heading Toward Plan Adoption

The Recommended Wake County Transit Plan is one step closer to formal approval and adoption.

At a public hearing on Wednesday, May 18, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Executive Board unanimously approved the recommended plan. The CAMPO board includes mayors and city/town council members focused on local transportation issues. This hearing marked the end of CAMPO and GoTriangle’s 30-day public comment period for the recommended plan, which included a series of public information sessions across the county.

Next, the plan will go before the GoTriangle Board of Trustees for their consideration on Wednesday, May 25. Upon approval, it will then go before the Wake County Board of Commissioners for consideration at their meeting on Monday, June 6. This meeting will take place at 2 p.m. in the Commissioners Board Room of the Wake County Justice Center, located at 301 S. McDowell St. in Raleigh.

As always, we welcome your input on the recommended transit plan. If you have any questions or comments, contact us at 919-856-5477 or waketransit@wakegov.com.