GoRaleigh Bus System, now and the future

I am not wanting to move to Cary- I like Raleigh. We are discussing issues with the Go Raleigh Bus System. I was simply making a point that needs to be addressed or at least talked about. Safety or perceived safety at many of the bus stops near downtown.

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You cant see why this is a potential issue?

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I’ll keep saying this it has to be sexy we have to make people want to take mass transit.

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I’m surprised at how often discourse here and on the subreddit becomes dismissive when folks raise concerns about the city. We want people to live here and enjoy it. Dismissing concerns doesn’t change minds or win people over.

I understand that sometimes people can see frustrations around drug usage, littering, petty crime, interacting with the mentally ill, et cetera as naive. After all, we want Raleigh to grow don’t we? We want Raleigh to be a fun big city right? Well fun big cities are messy. They come with downsides. So don’t be naive.

But, depending on where you’ve travelled outside of the US, many have seen examples of cities – cities much larger than Raleigh – without these downsides. Folks know a Raleigh without these problems is possible.

Comparing NC and Raleigh to Denmark and Copenhagen isn’t always that useful of course. Their country, laws, and culture are different than ours. It might take decades to change our setup enough to garner the benefits we yearn for. However, saying “that’s just not possible” is clearly not true.

And, there may be a few folks with unreasonable expectations now and again. But I’d argue the right move isn’t to respond with “you’re being unreasonable” or “you’re clearly not built for city life”. Instead, communicating around what they expect and the facts around the situation will probably go much further in [1] seeing if there maybe is a reasonable solution or [2] if there’s not a reasonable solution, helping the person understand that.

Finally, a lot of the dismissal I see both here and when talking with others face-to-face tends to come from people that either don’t actually use the system/area/resource that is creating the concerns or they aren’t actually thinking about the intended purpose – the goals – of the system/area/resource.

E.g. a lot of the complaints around the bus are dismissed with “don’t be a wimp”. Folks that say this typically don’t ride the bus. But if you actually rode the bus, you’d be aware of the fights that break out, the drug paraphernalia left behind, the accosting that occurs at bus stops.

Why do we have the bus? Stated goals are:

  1. Reduce transportation’s environmental impact
  2. Provide a safe, effective way for people to get around town, especially those without cars

Well, when the bus experience is as bad as Raleigh’s is right now, people who don’t have to take the bus stop taking the bus. That defeats goal #1. That leaves the people who have no other choice, frequently folks who are lower-income and already facing significant hurdles, to continue taking the bus. Thus, we’re making things even more inconvenient and unsafe for the people who are already struggling. That defeats goal #2.

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Ot basic human amenities, yes I know ridership is low on one stops but every stop needs a shelter and a seat regardless of how many boardings. We have to invest then wait for the return. A pregnant woman or an elderly woman, and people in general don’t wanna stand eating for the bus. When it rains people don’t need to be rained on or snowed on they should’ve have to sit on the ground. All trash cans at the buses should be cleaned out weekly. Raleigh has a billion dollar budget i’m sure we can afford part of the budget going into maintaining the stops of all routes. I found literally run for office on this.

“the way” im all for for greater bus frequency, from my time in reno, nv I can see how big a difference it makes in convenience for transit with safe covereved bus stops. but I’m not so sure about what train service with its cost will make any difference in vehicle traffic. once off the interstate car travel is sublime in some areas of NC.

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Stop for a moment and consider that the state’s population is projected to grow to over 14 million by 2050, and the majority of that growth will occur in the urban areas of the Piedmont.

The cost of continuing expanding our already-wide highways like I-40 and I-85 to keep up with this growth will be astronomical - and what’s worse, ROI will diminish - because property values close to the highways are higher, and the complexity of phasing to maintain traffic only gets worse the wider and busier the highway already is. And once those widenings are complete, it only ensures that there will also be more traffic on already-crowded surface streets.

We need to view rail not as a way to take traffic off of highways, but as a way to allow growth to continue in spite of traffic and without having to spend ridiculous amounts of money turning our already large highways into something more massive and hideous than they already are. And furthermore, rail can channel that growth in a direction that is more efficient in terms of the consumption of land, energy, and even money- with lively urban zones capturing a greater share of the growth - a step in the right direction for a region and state that continues to be overwhelmed by sprawl.

So: I do think that rail should play an important part in the region’s and state’s future, and that planning for this future should start now.

I just don’t think that GoTriangle, the agency with a 0-for-3 track record on rail, should be at the helm.

NCDOT Rail knows what they’re doing when it comes to winning grants (about $2b total starting from ARRA in 2009) and if putting them in charge results in a system that is less focused on the Triangle and more focused on statewide mobility, then so be it.

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