Bus Rapid Transit in Raleigh


That’s actually a cool little strip. The road master plan showed St Augustine connecting to Battery across New Bern too improving the walkability and traffic flow even a tad more. Also I live within hearing distance of that strip and am interested in how things are shaping up there.


@Mark in the “Light Rail vs Monorail” thread:
[T]hrough my rambling I realized I probably just need to see a proposed stop list for the BRT and compare it to the 15 stops.

Turns out, GoRaleigh’s made a survey about stops and routes for BRT back in April -and the link’s still alive.
These were the proposed stops (images pulled directly from the survey; creds to Wake County).

The majority of people who didn’t mark “no opinion” preferred the green route (Capital Blvd).

For the northern half of this segment, only the gold route (Wilmington St) performed better than the “no opinion” option. If the southern half’s result had real, grown-ups’ statistics, the difference between the two options and “no opinion” would probably be insignificant.

The majority of people who didn’t mark “no opinion” preferred the green route (Cary Towne Blvd) -though it’s important to note this survey happened before IKEA bamboozled us.


Joe (emphasis mine):
If a lot of people start taking public transit (to the point where traffic eases), it will simply motivate more people to get in their cars at times where they currently avoid doing so
Part of the issue with Rapid Transit buses will be that there’s actually a potential negative to drivers who will see scare roadspace eaten by permanent bus lanes. So you could actually see traffic get worse overall at all times of the day.

Sounds like this is a positive feedback loop of bad traffic that artificially helps the case of building BRT, as messed up as that is.

Going back to your thing about value propositions, your case for commercial value makes sense and I totally agree. Even if no new businesses or developments come up, it would still increase flow to the Longview Shopping Center or WakeMed, so that could be a plus.

The big problem is how to convince residents that it’s worth it (and nip NIMBYs’ arguments in the bud), from the looks of it…


Keep in mind that this is a " Car Dependent State " people rely on their car 24/7. it will be hard to convince folks of getting on a BRT to their destination. Same as with Light Rail as I had posted here, but at some point something has got to Give. I for one would Love to see a BRT run here in Raleigh and in the Triangle area, we do need some form of Transit to get around better and one that will have access for Everyone.


I’d like to see some cars banned from the road on certain days. Maybe if a car’s license plate ends with a certain letter or # they can’t drive on Tuesdays. I know this would never happen though in this “land of the free” but one can dream.


Thanks you very much for that. Could you tell if the BRT replaces that section of route 15 or does it overlay it with entirely separate buses (same question for all the BRT routes)?


The other side of that is that because only like 1% (?) of the city are regular transit users, even small numerical increases would be pretty big % wise. Honestly, if we get nice mixed-use, urban form developments along the four BRT routes, it will dramatically expand the urban footprint in the city. But, you’re 100% right, it will take a very long time to get significant % of people out of their cars.


Thanks for posting these routes. I don’t think I voted for this option when going through these the first time when looking at the Capital Boulevard options but the gold line has interesting potential to become a multimodal haven with brt and the cycle track. I can picture dense development along West becoming pedestrian, cycle, and brt only. Denver’s 16th Street comes to mind (we would need a lot more density to come close to that cityscape though, but maybe Kane is working on it).


Well you’re not going to convince me it’s worth it. I think it’s a waste of time and money given that light rail will be necessary one day (unless we’re destined to turn into another Austin). That a lot of people can’t see that continues to boggle the mind.


I don’t understand what you mean. BRT and LTR aren’t mutually exclusive, and BRT has been demonstrated to produce transit-oriented development. It will also be done much faster and much cheaper than LTR could be. I realize they’re different products, and LTR certainly has a higher capacity than BRT, but we don’t actually need LTR right now, and even if we did there’s no way to pay for it.

Now, maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t the idea behind an LTR system to change our development patterns? We don’t currently have logical transit nodes that need connecting via fixed-rail transit corridors, but the BRT could start to form those. Once that happens, we might replace it with LTR and then take the existing BRT infrastructure to make new BRT routes further out.


I tend to think that BRT as a more flexible and quicker-to-market version of LRT. It’s also more visible to the public. Everyone knows Wade avenue is a good connection from 5 points, to Cameron village, to the NCMA or fairgrounds - good luck getting light rail in there with those hills! More easily there could be a dedicated BRT Lane in there that is highly visible and serves a well known route. That’s not the best example, but I think it makes the point. BRT can go more places and is just as reliable as a train if done correctly


Wade avenue is actually quite a shitty way to get around. Narrow, high speed, with a high chance of accidents. As a major, vital thoroughfare, it’s an embarrassment. I know several people who avoid it altogether, or at least whenever they get a chance. When I drive on it with visitors at anything approaching rush hour they’re shocked and frightened by it.

Wade is also a perfect example of the limitations of BRT — you can’t sacrifice one of two lanes, and there’s seemingly zero ability to expand. To not use Wade, you have to go around Wade, and the only way to maintain transit time sanity is to go around with light rail.


There’s likely to be only going to be one mass transit solution any time in the near future. That makes them mutually exclusive by any reasonable definition of the term.


I think your analysis of Wade avenue is a little dramatic - it’s a 4 Lane that runs through a heavy residential area between two major highway/thoroughfares, of course it’s tough during rush hour. However you’re right that BRT would be difficult there, and it was a bad example, although it would be easier to get brt through there than lrt. The point is that BRT is our answer because we’re too late to the light rail game unfortunately, imo. But it needs to be done correctly - modern stops, streamlined fare tech, and reliable service


There’s likely to be only going to be one mass transit solution any time in the near future.

In the four corridors above by the end of the 2020s? Then yeah, of course that’s true; that is what’s on the budget here in 2018. I think what Steve is trying to say is that there doesn’t have to only be one form of mass transit in the long term (as in this won’t be done until at least the mid-2030s, if ever) or in theory.

BRT by definition* is a bus vehicle operating in a light rail-like* environment; the only working difference between the two should* be that one has metal wheels and longer vehicles, and the other has shorter vehicles and rubber tires. His point is that if what you care about is what LRT/BRT can do, then the two methods are interchangeable and you’d need to carve out similar-width right-of-ways for both methods.

What it looks like (if it “feels cool” etc.) seems to me like an entirely different and uglier problem, so I hope we don’t have to go there.

Sure, there might come a day when light rail would be a more sensible choice than BRT, but GoTriangle didn’t find any evidence that today is that day when they did their studies. You can’t go off and spend billions of dollars based on gut feelings and individual comments without backing it up with evidence -even if you feel that what you perceive is the truth (see Stephen Colbert).

(side note: does anyone have a copy of that Alternatives Analysis report? I’m wondering if we should all just sit down and try to deconstruct that paper as a community, and settle the debate of whether GoTriangle’s conclusion is mistaken, once and for all)

Note from Asterisk(*): this assumes that Raleigh/Wake County/GoTriangle does BRT properly instead of being cheap. I know it sounds nitpicky, but …well… New York and Boston have services that suck so bad, a transit think tank literally ranks those lines as “Not BRT” on a gold-silver-bronze performance scale.


The western BRT leg would use the Western Blvd corridor not Wade, as it is currently planned.


Are we too late to the light rail game or does the population density not support light rail? Can’t be both.


Buses also have to follow current roads and are subject to traffic lights (even if they do get “preference”). Because light rail operates on a different system from roads, it’s more a reliable/consistent/faster mode of transportation, in addition to having higher capacity and not affecting current traffic. It’s simply wrong to say they’re interchangeable.

It impacts usage, so it’s worth thinking about. People are only going to want to fund something they’re using.

I40 is at capacity at rush hour. Past capacity. That’s a fact, not a gut feeling. And there is virtually no room for it to grow. What are people who work West of Raleigh supposed to do? Move?


brt If City/State leaders along with Government leaders approve a BRT system in Raleigh…I would Love to see it On Capital Blvd. to me it is the most congested during rush hour traffic. a visual example of a BRT system.


Another example of a BRT and what it would Look like here in Raleigh. Siemens-Electric-Bus-Rapid-Transit-System