Triangle Transit

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

Triangle Transit will present its latest plans this week for a stretch of the light rail line that would connect Orange and Durham Counties.

The organization hosts public meetings in Chapel Hill Wednesday and Durham on Thursday to focus on the stretch of light rail line connecting UNC Hospitals with the Duke and VA hospitals. Spokesman Brad Schulz says the plan addresses local communities' locations, zoning and environmental concerns.

a banner for try transit month

Triangle Transit agencies in Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary and Raleigh are participating in a campaign this month to encourage commuters to ride the bus. The organization says leaving your car at home can save you time and money - not to mention the stress of driving in traffic. Some area buses have also upgraded their Wi-Fi to 4G.

"Changing your commute can add an hour to your schedule or you can get work done by using the Internet Wi-Fi that's on some of the buses," said Triangle Transit's Lauren Parker.

Triangle Transit Authority

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) has given the green-light to begin the first steps of a 17-mile light rail project connecting Durham and Orange Counties.

The decision authorizes Triangle Transit to begin development on the project, by studying the potential environmental impact of two proposed rail routes.

Triangle Transit has put together this video "fly-through" of the proposed light rail route:

A 14-mile light rail line is part of Triangle Transit's proposal for Wake County.
Triangle Transit Authority

Commissioners in Wake County are holding their first public discussion about a plan for expanded bus and light rail services.

The board meets Tuesday morning with three transit experts from outside the state.  It's the county's first public meeting about the plan, which Triangle Transit Authority presented in 2011.  Commissioners have declined to bring it up for discussion since then. 

Commissioner Paul Coble says he wants a second opinion.

City of Raleigh

Bus riders in the Triangle are invited to weigh in on proposed fare hikes for Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit.  Officials for the agencies say they haven't raised fares since 2005 for Triangle Transit and the last time Raleigh buses raised rates was in 2007. 

John Tallmadge is the Director of Regional Services Development for Triangle Transit.  He says ridership has more than doubled for his service since the last rate hike.

City of Raleigh

Triangle residents are being invited this week to consider public transportation as a commuter option.  Local and regional systems are taking part in "Try Transit Week" hoping to get people out of their cars and on a bus to work or play. 

 Capital Area Transit is offering special events every day to entice new riders.  Lindsay Pennell handles marketing for the Raleigh bus service.  She says over the years they've been able change some people's transportation choice.

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

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.

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Triangle Transit Authority

Advocates of the proposed light rail line from Chapel Hill to Durham say local governments should plan early to set aside money for affordable housing near train stations.  Researchers with Triangle Transit Authority met with Durham residents earlier this month. 

TTA research associate Geoff Green says the agency examined how property values changed when other metropolitan areas decided to build light rail.

Public transportation has long been a contentious topic in the Triangle. As cities like Charlotte have expanded bus service and built a light-rail system, cities like Raleigh and Durham have failed to keep up.

But now, a plan to increase busses and begin the long process of connecting the cities in the Triangle by rail is just a few steps from being implemented. Those last few steps are proving to be the hardest.

On Tuesday, Durham County voters will decide whether to approve a sales tax increase that would help fund big improvements to public transit. Public transportation advocates across the Triangle have been working for years to plan a comprehensive network of buses and trains to make the area more commuter-friendly.