Bus Rapid Transit in Raleigh


Don’t forget that a lot of people rent and buy in suburbia for financial reasons. The income required to live in comparable places downtown is always higher.


If downtown-like areas existed beyond our postage stamp sized grid, that might not be the case. You can get some sweet townhouses within walking distance of stuff in Philly still at a reasonable prices. Also I am aware there was a discussion on here about the Raleigh CDB size not being that small, but the CBD and proper urban form areas that extend beyond the CBD are not the same…before anyone decides to bring that up…anyway its a high income to available walkable urban area ratio, and Philly has plenty while Raleigh has none relative to the money looking for that sort of thing.


Many ITB neighborhoods are fairly walkable except at the edges along major roads like New Bern Avenue, Western Avenue, Glenwood Avenue, etc. There is potential for infill development in each of these arterial corridors (and others) that will bring more retail, services, and housing options. Increased transit in these areas can’t come soon enough.

North of the Beltline, there is a lot more work to be done. The key is being intentional about accommodating all transportation modes and creating human scale. More attention should be going into Crabtree Valley (Glenwood Avenue, Creedmoor, Edwards Mill, Lead Mine, Blue Ridge Road, Crabtree Valley Avenue) and into North Hills (Six Forks Road). There is too much development occurring to let these opportunities pass.


A TBJ article from yesterday featured an interview with Jeff Mann, the general manager for GoTriangle. He states that in 2019 he anticipates “reaching a federal full-funding grant agreement” for the Durham-Orange Light Rail, and that “a number of the key Wake County projects, including one or more bus rapid transit corridors and commuter rail are anticipated to enter into the federal funding pipeline.”


I had the same question, fortunately it looks like BRT (as opposed to normal bus service) does encourage development. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/09/26/itdp-study-a-coming-out-for-bus-based-transit-oriented-development/


Rode the BRT in Richmond this past Friday. To be honest it wasn’t as efficient as I expected. My biggest concerns were: The bus took an extended amount of time to pull up to the stop since it has to be less than 1” from the platform to be flush with the bus. Also, the bus seemed to hit every single red light. I assumed buses would have gotten priority. Lastly, I’m not sure if this was only because it was a Friday afternoon but there wasn’t any traffic… From looking at the plans, I do think the Raleigh BRT will be a lot more successful.


The GoTriangle and GoRaleigh people went up to Richmond earlier this year and came back saying the right things:

  1. Richmond’s BRT system looks great
  2. We are bigger, have more traffic, and have longer commutes
  3. We will need more separated, dedicated bus lanes than they have in Richmond
  4. We will need signal priority right out of the gate rather than at some future phase.

So they noticed everything you did, it is just a question of whether the political will to do this exists in Raleigh and North Carolina.

I am confident that Raleigh will be able to make at least some of the needed tough choices, but I am also concerned that NCDOT will push back hard against taking traffic lanes for buses in the places where it really counts.


I wonder if the whole 1" from the curb thing can be solved with an automated system that grabs the bus and delivers it to curb in the same place each time? It could work sort of like how those automated car washes grab your tires via a conveyor. At least this way the experience in time and distance would be consistent and not dependent on individual human skill.



Great. Where will this event occur and are there any materials to read before the event?


Forgot to mention that the location is still TBD. I’ll update once they know but wanted to get it on people’s calendars.


Update with location.


Seems like the plan has already been presented to City Councillors already and the 4 options can be seen here:


I’m curious about why the northern corridor doesn’t extend father than it is planned to (Crabtree Blvd). It seems to me that extending it past 440 should be considered, and also that much of Capital between Crabtree Blvd and downtown consists of places where no one will be around to ride transit.


4 options for selection by the city appear pretty bland and kinda trying to take the easy way out. Personally, I prefer Orulz’s plan (shared here from the other topic - hope you don’t mind). Also, hope the city considers separated busways wherever possible - ala Alexandria/Crystal City Metroway.


Some of those routes appear downright illegible. Among the ones listed, the one that focuses on Dawson/McDowell and Edenton/Morgan scores the highest from a legibility standpoint (and probably operations as well) but it just outright skips both Union Station and GoRaleigh station at Moore Square which I’m not too keen on. Blount/Wilmington is legible enough and hits Moore Square, but completely skips the biggest growth area right now and the west side of downtown.

The biggest downside of the loop proposal is that you can’t interline the routes. To me interlining is a nice-to-have but not at the expense of serving the existing transfer points. If interlining is treated as an immutable constraint, though, then a loop is out.

I hope to attend the meeting tomorrow and make my case to the planners but I have a pretty tight schedule tomorrow so it may be tough.


I like your idea Orulz especially with the fact that you cover both RUS and the GoRaleigh station at Moore Square and the fact that the routes are on overlapped on a single loop of streets.

IMO - the 4 alternatives are too confusing and create trade-offs between coverage of Union Station and the GoRaleigh station.


I went to the public meeting last night. Here are a few of my takeaways.

There was a pretty good turnout. The alternatives presented were exactly as we’ve discussed here, and as I’ve mentioned before I wasn’t too keen on any of them.

First, the broad issues that apply to all alternatives.

I asked about how serious the city is about dedicated bus lanes. The staff said that for now, they are assuming 100% dedicated lanes when analyzing the performance of alternatives, but the decision of where dedicated lanes will actually be built is not being made at this point. They are shooting for at least 50% dedicated lanes, as that is the threshold they will likely need to meet to get federal funding, but how much of that will be downtown is still up in the air. There will probably be some places where traffic issues make it so bus lanes are not possible. The decision ultimately rests mostly with city council.

The idea so far is that the lanes will only be enforced during hours when traffic would actually cause significant delays, and that businesses will be able to use them for loading and delivery outside of those hours. While that makes sense in a way, I think it will also cause confusion and make enforcement difficult.

Ah yes, enforcement. Basically, they staff acknowledged that enforcement is extremely important, but how strict they will be and what method will be used is up in the air. They are looking at separating the lanes from general traffic with more than just paint, but it needs to be something that can be cleared by emergency vehicles as well as by vehicles accessing driveways - so a permanent full curb is out of the question. Options under consideration would be things like reflective highway road studs, raised lane markers, or maybe a speed bump installed parallel to the flow of traffic.

When I started talking about the alternatives themselves, and my dissatisfaction with them, I got kind of mixed messages on some things. One staff member said literally “The ship has sailed on alternatives, these are it.” Another said “We’re open to tweaks and slight changes but these are the basis.” Still another said “Your idea looks very interesting, can you e-mail it to me please?” I really couldn’t get any clarity on how final these alternatives are and how open they are to looking at something completely different.

At any rate, if any of you all feel like I do I would strongly encourage you to put that in your feedback on the survey. https://publicinput.com/3476 Chances are if I’m the only one advocating for an alternative that looks nothing like A-D, then they’ll just dismiss it as coming from an antisocial uncooperative lunatic (me!). If they get 10 or 20 people saying the same thing, then I suspect they may pay attention.


As someone who has participated in public meetings before from the consultant side, you usually have to hunt down the person managing the project from the public side or someone with influence on the public side to get a serious response regarding something like new ideas or alternatives (like Eric Lamb for example). As a very junior engineer, I don’t have any say into what alternatives will be selected moving forward or studied (I just do the work that I’m told and am there to answer questions about the alternatives that are there since I’d be familiar with them) so I’ll usually deflect any other ideas or give a generic response that “we are open to your comments/ideas if you write them down and submit them to us”.

Thanks for the link to the poll! I’ll add my input.


I completed the survey and imbedded my google map, which is very similar to orulz’s.