Light Rail: What works for Raleigh


Denver also doesnt have a commuter rail corridor nearly as strong as the double-anchored NCRR from Raleigh to Durham, IMO. If we built it, it would be quite well used. It’s just a question of priorities, but with “creative” financing the likes of which is being employed in Durham were used, we could probably scrounge up the cash to make it happen.


I was envisioning a system more like Seattle. They have such a great setup with their light rail and bus systems but they have so many advantages over us, namely a fairly narrow corridor and much more density. And that’s not even counting the monorail. :grin:


Look at the TRE in DFW. I think our proposed system will be like a scaled-down version.

or the Seattle Sounder
Both systems have cities anchoring the rail corridor at either end. We are just a smaller version.


This would be wildly unpopular and too progressive for most places in America, but Wake county could raise Transit funds by charging non transit oriented suburban developments additional impact fees per acre, and then per SF of SFH on the building permits.

“o you want to build a 5000 square foot house out in the county to avoid city taxes because you want privacy and don’t mind commuting further to work? That will be an additional $0.75 per square foot of permit fees toward the transit recovery fund.”


I think if you propose something like that in Wake County that will kill support for transit almost immediately.


Replace transit with subsidized housing :open_mouth:


And for it to really work you would need Johnston County to levy a sprawl tax and that’s never gonna happen. I’d recommend a commuter tax but they tend to be regressive and can hurt those who can least afford it the most. The cultural change is going to be the biggest issue with adoption. Right now many people are used to just jumping in their car and going anywhere. Any new system is going to have to be affordable, reliable, and convenient, meaning it’s going to have to take people where they want/need to go.

Tangentially I wonder what the current ridership numbers between Raleigh and Durham/ Raleigh and Charlotte are. I wonder if these are public anywhere?


You’re looking to get ridden out of town on a rail :joy:


I just saw this board as a place to dream with other dreamers. Don’t see how that’s complaining about any actual plans that are being implemented.


I mean the thread is called Light Rail: What Works For Raleigh so I thought it was a place to be aspirational.


I believe the most fundamental role of government is to alleviate and correct inefficiencies in the free market. :man_shrugging:


The free market polices it’s own inefficiencies, hence the word “free.”


The dangerous thing about places and conversations like this is that, exactly, people tend to “dream with other dreamers”… to the point it occasionally goes a bit too far.

Some ideas blow up to the point it’s no longer really tethered to reality; some uncover flaws/presumptions people have that aren’t the brightest or most civil ideas of all time; some just steamroll past nuances and solutions/policies even though the devil is in the details; yet others just spiral into a complaining board that’s the exact, polar opposite of being a stimulating conversation.

Pretty sure we did (even now, with this whole “oooh here’s another commuter rail project we could look like” thing). Thank you! Let’s move on!

I was going to say “let’s just sprinkle in congestion pricing and express lanes throughout the Triangle!”…

…but then, I realized those would only solve one half of the equation (making cars less desirable) without addressing the more important half (making transit more reliable).

Most non-freshman students/employees at UNC I’ve had transit-related conversations with have all said Chapel Hill feels like it’s forcing people to use public transit by design. Yeah this is partly true, but it still doesn’t help that it leaves a sour taste on some people’s tongues for transit use (as opposed to the “freedom”, convenience, speed, and privacy of car use).

Since the free market can only police itself as much as it’s aware of/motivated by a need to do so, is there anything we can do to encourage people to willingly* switch over to public transit?


The name of the thread is “Light Rail: What Works for Raleigh?” If it’s only supposed to be things that are exactly prescribed in the current working transit plan then create a thread for that. Nobody is making policy here. Not everyone reads every single thing that was written on each of the threads and not everyone has gotten a chance to chime in with their thoughts. If a particular item is being beaten into the ground or is wildly off topic or inappropriate then I think maybe people should speak up but to have people telling other folks that they are children or to move on smacks of arrogance and gatekeeperism.


One thing that anti-rail (or light rail or BRT) folks don’t realize that even if they never even set foot on a train or bus, they still benefit. For every person that rides a bus or a train, there is one less car on the road, making their commute that much less congested.

Same can be said for people against bike lanes.


People who enjoy actually having things to do downtown should all be advocates for any improved form of public transit. Do you want people to work at these places downtown? Unless there’s affordable housing for them nearby, they’re either going to have to drive and park in a pay lot… or use public transit.


Hey all. I have my admin hat on right now. I haven’t followed this thread that closely but in case there’s any confusion on how to treat these topics, let me just throw out one quick thing.

This topic is in the category of “The Pub” which is an anything goes, dream big kind of category. Let loose and don’t take others too seriously. (cause we’re “drinking” or whatever)

Let’s say real light-rail plans actually come out one day, we can create a light rail topic under “Planning DTRaleigh”. Then, we get into the weeds, data, what works, what doesn’t and generally stick to the facts and serious discussion.

Ok, hat off.


The free market doesn’t have the good of the community at its center. It has its own rewards at the center. There isn’t a free market solution for this problem that will accept long term investment for future viability over short term profits.


Free markets, in any context, will have their positives and negatives, yet are still better than alternatives. In the context of this transit discussion, ultimately the free market will determine the success of such a project, primarily in ridership. As far as the financing suggestion that punitively taxes non-TOD developments, that will only reinforce the public’s impression (right or wrong) that the transit cannot exist on its own. A project such as this needs to be funded through a transportation bond as well as some federal and state investment. The public already sees the .50 increase in sales tax for transit projects, adding another tax will not get the public on board, which is ultimately what is needed.


So how do you get members of the public, like those in bedroom communities outside of the beltline, to be on board with public transit? Especially when they will see no immediate benefit to them?

Sure, if there was a proposed line that ran the length of 540 between Louisburg Rd and RTP, you might have their ear. Otherwise, they only way they’d be using public transit is as a novelty when they come downtown.

What tactics have been successful for persuading the general public in the past or in other locations?