Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Raleigh


Watching the Raleigh Transit Authority meeting right now on YouTube and found this particular slide interesting. We often tell ourselves that transit’s most important function is to take people to and from work, but their latest survey results don’t confirm that.

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Recording from Southern virtual meeting

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Believe this is the last day this survey on the Southern BRT is open. Your input is a great way for the city to obtain more focused feedback on the needs for each station’s area plan.

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Annnnnnd… today through midnight is the last day this survey on the Western BRT station areas is open.

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NCDOT is beginning some studies for FAST 2.0 which will include BRT options to the airport. Here’s a paragraph from the upcoming CAMPO meeting:

The Consultant will perform a high-level screening of up to four (4) direct BRT linkages to RDU International Airport from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary (with the understanding that sections of Chapel Hill and Durham would potentially run on concurrent routes as would certain sections of Cary and Raleigh), which will link multiple downtowns to the interconnected transit priority network of dynamic transit priority shoulders and/or express lanes. This level of analysis will consider all aspects of BRT infrastructure, operations planning, and vehicle needs along with a transfer location on the RDU property. The Consultant will explore multiple solutions that may include a transfer between BRT operating on I-40 and BRT operating on Airport Boulevard or Aviation Parkway or other two seat ride concepts. The Consultant will prepare a feasibility study for the BRT transfer location at RDU, which could be used for a reginal transit hub, in addition to serving the airport. This work would include space programing, test fits on preferred site, workshop to select a concept and NEPA red flag analysis.

Seems promising. The FAST 2.0 studies will also include specific implementation recommendations for the infrastructure proposed in FAST 1.0.

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10 years later… we’ve conducted our study and were gonna need to do another one.

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Wow. You literally took the words out of my mouth! I had the same thought right before seeing your post.

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East route update for area drivers: Construction has definitely ramped up this week along New Bern. There’s a stream culvert at the intersection of King William that needs significant work and extending, so there have been on/off lane closures there while they get that tackled. Expect delays at peak travel times. Saw cars backed up yesterday all the way to Farris.

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I’m really hyped for this project :hugs:. I really hope this project helps to increase the ridership numbers and decrease traffic during peak periods.

I will definitely be one of the first riders at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Here’s a remind of the proposed station designs:

Here’s the project design map:

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https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article289006444.html

Concerning—no companies have even bid on the project yet. (The small bit of work we’ve seen along New Bern was pre-project work done by Raleigh’s own public works & utilities depts.)

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Huh, wonder why that is

This is very concerning and I wonder how long it took for Richmond to find a company for their BRT project.

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Raleigh is a city with an HOA acting as the city government. Just compare the city governments of Greenville, SC and Raleigh and you will see our severe lack of focus, urgency, and civic pride.

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To be fair to the city though, this has less to do with them and more to do with the way publically-funded infrastructure has to be bid out to contractors. I’ve heard of NCDOT having this issue before, particularly in small bridge replacement projects in rural areas. If a private contractor looks at a project and they don’t immediate see big shiny dollar signs in their eyes, they tend to pass for the next big thing. Or overbid higher than the city/county/state/feds budget limit.

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According to the article at least, the reasons given were:

  • Private contractors didn’t think they could get the project done in the two-year timeline
  • There are lots of other infrastructure projects out for bid in the state, so private contractors can kind of pick and choose what they want to do.

But the guy managing the BRT project says he’s confident they’ll find someone when they open bidding back up next month. They aren’t revealing the money they’re offering, but it does sound like they’ll maybe relax the two-year timeline requirement and/or maybe break up the project into smaller, more manageable chunks.

I don’t know how any of this works myself. I’m just repeating what the article said. Anyone have any more insight into this process/how much we should trust they’ll find someone soon?

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https://www.axios.com/local/raleigh/2024/06/10/bus-rapid-transit-raleigh-nc-bids

This seems to confirm that they’ll give them more time.

I still just wish they had started with the North Hills to downtown or DT Cary to downtown routes. Ones that would get good usage and build excitement. At this point it’s gonna be 20 years before these are all up and running. If ever…

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Hold up now. Midtown/North Hills/North Raleigh and West Raleigh have for decades gotten the bulk of investment & infrastructure in this city, at least since I moved here in the early-90s.
They finally throw East and Southeast Raleigh a few measly crumbs, and this is a problem? Um, yes we’ll give it usage and excitement. GoRaleigh’s numbers showing the higher volume of riders on buses here (as mentioned a dozen times in this thread), is the reason they’re doing this. It’s backed by stats, (not to mention the largest medical center in the county is on this route).
Let us on the neglected/ignored side of town of have something nice for once. :unamused: Sheesh.

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This isn’t supposed to be a charity. I couldn’t care less about trying to engineer stuff to spread the love because it makes people feel better. But as you said, the bus ridership stats back it up. However, those people already have buses. I don’t think this moves the needle that much. And because it’s running through poor areas, it’s getting that extra pushback about gentrification at every step. I just think this is being set up for failure.

Having a prestige BRT example going from downtown to North Hills seems like a way to build interest with the general public and hopefully bring more riders into this system. Most people in the Triangle have no desire to go to East Raleigh from downtown. It’s basically a utilitarian purpose venture at this point, moving a small group of people from point A to point B because they don’t have cars and need a bus, an option which already exists.

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Idk - I think people living in the neighborhoods immediately around downtown do so because they like the proximity to downtown, and wanted easy access, and some level of walkability. People around N Hills or Cary, by the same token, live there because they wanted proximity/access to those areas. I imagine you’ll see plenty of people with other options (e.g. car owners) on the east side of town using BRT - more so than you would on a N Hills or Cary route.

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I hear ya and well, don’t wanna fight about it since what’s done is done and the argument is kinda mood. (And I’m never one to start online fights.)
We’ll see how it ends up in the long run.
If when the day comes a route to North Hills is done and the wealthy suburbanites happily give up their Mercedes, Lexus, and Teslas en masse to ride a bus downtown, then I’d be happy to be proven wrong and I’ll buy you a couple rounds of beer. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Cheers.

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