What: Making the Connections is a series of stories about the people and processes bringing Wake County’s transit investments to life
Role: Administrator, Transit Planning Advisory Committee
Degrees: Bachelor of Science, mechanical engineering, University of Maryland-Baltimore County; Master of City and Regional Planning with a specialization in transportation and urban infrastructure planning, Morgan State University, Baltimore.
His title “TPAC administrator” might seem pretty pedestrian given the role that Adam Howell is playing now that the transit investment voters approved last year has begun bringing the Wake Transit Plan to life.
Cat-herder, buck-stopper, ball-juggler, liaison or mediator could more aptly describe Howell, a former transit planner for the Town of Cary, and the newly created position he began Aug. 21 for the TPAC — or the Transit Planning Advisory Committee.
“When I applied, I said I needed clarification on what to expect,” Howell said. “They said, ‘You need to know and be involved in everything that is Wake Transit.” I looked at them and said, ‘Is that all?’ So every project you see in the books, I’m a part of the conversation.”
Those projects include more extensive and more frequent bus service, new bus rapid transit corridors, a commuter rail line between Garner and Durham, more bus stop amenities and new bus facilities and stations. All are part of the 10-year Wake Transit Plan, a vision laid out before voters approved the half-cent sales tax to help pay for it in November 2016.
As work on implementing the plan got underway after the vote, decisions on the ground rules for investing the transit money and setting priorities among the projects had to be made. A few months in, it became clear that the complexity of coordinating the wishes of 12 Wake municipalities and the county itself, managing mounds of paperwork and agreements and keeping stakeholders fully informed required that someone be designated an administrator.
Enter Adam Howell – the liaison between the TPAC and the governing boards of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and GoTriangle. Read more