Bus

A picture of an R-line bus.
LocalWiki.net

Raleigh has commissioned a private consultant to evaluate the free downtown circulator bus system.

The R-Line was created in 2009 to boost tourism and economic development, and the city pays $1 million per year to keep it running.

But riders of Raleigh's Capital Area Transit bus system say it's unfair that they have to pay fares on the separate system. Most CAT riders live below the poverty line and depend on the system for their commute. Raleigh will raise the $1 fare by $.50 next year.

Chapel Hill bus
bendertj / Flickr/Creative Commons (Image cropped)

David Ellis Dickerson is a writer, a storyteller and a teacher. He might be best known for the stories he's told on "This American Life." He also has a book about greeting cards, and an online series of video shorts called "Greeting Card Emergency."

Erika dashes on to the 36-seat passenger bus. She's exasperated, but remarkably well put together. She's young, and afraid.

"Prescott... I'm late," she says, her hand gripping a rail for balance.

"... No you're not." He replies. "With the GoLive Real-Time Arrival System, you'll never be late for the bus again!"

"No..." she says. "I mean... I'm late."

Also, Prescott has an identical twin, Sebastian, who might be the father.

A Humane Society bus ad in Washington D.C., similar to one proposed for Raleigh buses.
Humane Society of the U.S.

The Humane Society of the United States is suing the Raleigh Transit Authority after the city rejected a bus advertisement showing pigs in cages. 

The ad proposal meant for the outside of buses has photos of pigs in gestation crates with the words, "How would you like to spend the rest of your life in a space as small as a bus seat?"

A bus participating in the Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS) program.
NCDOT

After a year of success in Durham County, the state's first Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS) is ready to expand into Wake County. The North Carolina Department of Transportation allows transit buses to travel on the shoulders of designated stretches of roadways to bypass congested traffic, but only when speeds drop below 35 miles per hour.

Chapel Hill town officials have suspended the policy that determines which advertisements are placed on transit buses.

Chapel Hill could decide soon whether to allow a pro-Israel group's ads to appear on town buses.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative's message says in part, "In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man.” Assistant Transit Director Brian Litchfield says the town is reviewing it.

Brian Litchfield: "Our hope is to communicate with AFDI sometime this week regarding any thoughts that staff might have."

Some Triangle bus riders won't be slowed by heavy traffic thanks to a pilot program starting today. 

Gurnal Scott: The Bus on Shoulder System, or BOSS, is up and running in 12 other states. Triangle Transit is working with the state DOT to find the best way to keep buses moving when traffic on a section of I-40 in Durham County slows down or stops.

Brad Schultz:  One of the things that frustrates transit riders the most is delays in traffic and when they cannot get to their location on time.

Bus ridership is increasing throughout the Triangle, thanks in large part to rising gas prices. January ridership on Triangle Transit was up 17.7 percent from last year. Brad Schulz at Triangle Transit says gas prices are just one reason people are choosing the bus.