2017-18 Work Plan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have questions about the plan or the Interlocal Agreement? Send them to info@waketransit.com. Want to stay updated? Sign up to follow our blog using the form below. Wondering what improvements will be coming your way through the Wake County Transit Plan? See our FAQs below to learn about commuter rail, bus rapid transit and more.

2017-18 Work Plan FAQs on Commuter Rail, New Buses, Bus Rapid Transit, Public Meetings and More

Q: Will transit to RDU Airport be increased?
A: Yes! GoTriangle Route 100 currently serves Terminals 1 and 2 of RDU Airport, the Regional Transit Center, Research Triangle Park, Downtown Raleigh and North Carolina State University. In August, frequency increased to every 30 minutes, Monday through Saturday, and to hourly all day on Sunday. Stay tuned for updates on Route 100.

Q: Will frequency on my GoTriangle/GoRaleigh/GoCary route be increased?
A: Several improvements to the bus systems in Wake County began in August using funds from the Wake Transit Plan. These improvements are limited to midday, evening and weekend services on existing bus routes until additional buses can be purchased and an implementation plan can be developed. Work on that implementation plan, called the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan, has begun. The result will be a year-by-year list of bus service improvements for fiscal year 2019 and beyond that will include not only the bus service itself, but also the facilities that make riding the bus safe, efficient and comfortable. Public participation will be a crucial element of the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan. Those opportunities will be advertised through www.waketransit.com.

Q: Where is the commuter rail going to stop and when will it be finished?
A: The commuter rail is proposed to connect Wake and Durham counties running from Garner, through Raleigh, North Carolina State University, Cary, Morrisville, Research Triangle Park and Durham. The initial study of commuter rail and bus rapid transit has begun. That study, called the Major Investment Study, will determine many details about the commuter rail as well as create a proposed timeline. However, the Wake Transit Plan envisions commuter rail to be operational in the 10-year horizon of the plan. Additionally, projects that cross county lines require a capital and operating funding agreement in order to distribute each county’s share proportionately.

Q: What kinds of buses are being purchased by GoTriangle and how did it come to this decision?
A: Though GoTriangle’s initial vehicle purchase will likely be for diesel vehicles, recommendations for the type of future bus purchases, including vehicle size and propulsion technology (such as electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas, etc.), will be developed in the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan. Note that different vehicle types and technologies may be deployed on different types of services, depending on their characteristics.

Q: Why are the GoTriangle Clayton-Raleigh Express and Johnston County Express routes being eliminated?
A: Bus routes to Johnston County were funded by NCDOT under the I40-I440 Fortify project. Those funds ended June 30, and the routes were discontinued.

Q: Has GoRaleigh considered expanding Sunday service?
A: Sunday service was expanded on all GoRaleigh routes in August under the FY 18 Wake Transit Work Plan.  Expanded service to other parts of Raleigh will be addressed in the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan.

Q: Is GoCary considering expanding westward?
A: The consideration of routes in this area, as well as throughout western Cary, will be determined through the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan that was initiated in June 2017.  This process will provide transit operating agencies a prescribed list of priorities for short- and long-term service expansion opportunities.  Western Cary is a priority of Imagine Cary for transit expansion, and the two plans will help agencies better determine when to implement feasible service.

Q: What is bus rapid transit (BRT) and where in Wake County will it serve?
A: Bus rapid transit is a grouping of improvements to a corridor including but not limited to station-like stops, dedicated lanes, signal priority and off-board fare payment systems. Project sponsors will work to achieve true BRT by setting system performance standards such as the average speed a bus maintains in a BRT corridor at the outset of the study and planning efforts. BRT will serve Raleigh, NCSU and Cary. The initial study of commuter rail and bus rapid transit is underway. That study, called the Major Investment Study, will determine many details about the BRT as well as create a proposed timeline. However, the Wake Transit Plan envisions the BRT corridors to be operational in the 10-year horizon of the plan.

Q: What are the Community Funding Areas and what is the timeline on this project?
A: Community Funding Areas are areas identified in the Wake Transit Plan that cover all municipalities in Wake County outside of Raleigh and Cary, as well as Research Triangle Park, for which funding is being set aside to support more local community-oriented transit services. Municipalities identified as Community Funding Areas can leverage this funding with their own contributions to provide local community-scale transit circulator services, additional demand-response trips, inter-community connections or other types of services. The financial model that supports the FY 2018 Wake Transit Work Plan begins making this funding available in FY 2020 and continues that funding into subsequent fiscal years.

Q: Are transit agencies incorporating improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the plan?
A: Improvements to bus stops and transit centers will be developed as part of the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan and Major Investment Study. This includes pedestrian and bicycle access to the stops. Additionally, GoRaleigh received $500,000 toward passenger amenities in the FY18 Work Plan in response to public comments.

Q: Will transit agencies consider alternative-fuel vehicles instead of diesel to improve the transit experience for F13users?
A: Recommendations for the type of future bus purchases, including vehicle size and propulsion technology (such as electric, hybrid, Compressed Natural Gas, etc.), will be developed in the Multi-Year Bus Service Implementation Plan. Different vehicle types and technologies may be deployed on different types of services, depending on their characteristics. A new Compressed Natural Gas Refueling Facility is planned at the GoRaleigh Operations Center. GoRaleigh will also purchase eight compressed natural gas vehicles during FY18 with Wake Transit funds. The Raleigh Transit Authority recently voted to change up to 75 percent of GoRaleigh’s bus fleet to compressed natural gas vehicles and will explore other low or no emissions alternatives for the remaining 25 percent. Additionally, GoTriangle, GoRaleigh, GoCary and Chapel Hill Transit jointly submitted a grant application to the federal government to help pay for seven electric buses. The grant, combined with local transit money, would allow GoRaleigh, GoTriangle and Chapel Hill Transit to buy two buses each and G10GoCary one bus so that transit planners can begin the move to lower-emission and more efficient transit vehicles.

Q: Could transit agencies consider allowing people to provide input on what stops and stations should be served or where they should be located before planners select them?
A: The planning for bus services, the bus rapid transit corridors and the commuter rail line will include opportunities for people to share their opinions about where bus stops and stations should be. Initial opportunities for public input will begin later this year. For updates and more information, keep checking waketransit.com.

Q: What are the TPAC and transit agencies doing about gentrification pushing poor residents to the outer edges of Raleigh where they have less bus service?
A: Gentrification is a major concern for many within our community and others throughout the nation. Growth brings many benefits; however, there are also many challenges. One of those challenges is the impact on housing affordability. Local transit agencies and the City of Raleigh recognize the challenges associated with affordable housing and transit.  Therefore, city staff is having ongoing conversations around the topic.  Many of those conversations pertain to the relationship between the transit plan and the changes in housing patterns in Downtown+G15 Raleigh and throughout the county.  In addition, as each major bus rapid transit (BRT) project and the commuter rail are planned, the potential effects on housing prices and opportunities for mitigation will be included in the analysis. Currently, the City of Raleigh’s Housing and Neighborhoods Department has created a strategy to mitigate the effects of gentrification. The strategy includes a combination of the following: updating the owner-occupied home rehabilitation guidelines, implementing the new Affordable Housing Location Policy, providing mixed-income homeownership opportunities and affordable rental units along a BRT corridor and creating homeownership units strictly for low- to moderate-income persons near downtown.

Q: How are transit agencies ensuring that all buses, bus stops and stations are accessible for residents with disabilities?
A: All buses and bus stops will be designed to meet or exceed ADA standards.

Q: How will the public be engaged on the development and approval of the annual work plans?
A: The TPAC is developing a long-term public engagement strategy that will outline how best to engage the public in the implementation of the Wake Transit Plan. The public will be given opportunities to provide input on annual work plans during their development and before they are approved by the TPAC and GoTriangle and CAMPO Boards.