Light Rail: What works for Raleigh


My knee jerk thought would be flex work schedules and flex locations would be the driver there, but I have not studied the situation.


Monorail with a station…and each station in parts of the city. Or from RDU to DTR…DTD…DTCH. Please keep in mind that the Population here in Downtown Raleigh, or Wake County for that matter is Growing and so is the Triangle Area, if some form of rail system is not in place, then in Ten or Fifteen years from now you’re going to have a Mess. Building more roads is fine, so is having more Cars on the roads. Uber…it only goes so far. How every costly you can’t rule out the fact that the need…if there is a need…the need for light rail is in fact a means of transportation. I’m not saying Give up your cars Completely…but have more alternatives to Transit. BRT…Commuter Rail,…Light Rail…Added Buses…etc.more alternatives to getting around the Triangle. We can have all these discussions and comments for Years and still have no Light Rail. We need to think of one thing…Raleigh’s Future


Completely agree. The bus and light rail options needed to be in place and operating yesterday (many years ago)!!!

Planners, city council, DOT and transportation councils are slow, pathetic (yes, pathetic) and stagnate, no one knows how to make a decision after wasting money on years of studies.
I have been in Raleigh since Jan 1991, how freaking sad, been hearing and reading about these studies since then and not ONE BIT OF PEOGRESS!
It’s sad and now a joke.
Current city council is the worst I have seen in years and the lack of team work to move forward on light rail is unacceptable, MAKE A DECISION TO BREAK GROUND!!
It took decades for Union Station, and now decades of delays for light rail will lead to a traffic nightmare!!!
Do not widen anymore roads, build a light rail systems, our so called lame leaders are clowns.


Yep, by the time we build an LRT network here we’ll have autonomous flying transit drones. We missed our shot at light rail and should look to future technologies to solve transit woes.


Well said Evan, it’s not funny anymore, enough studies, build the light rail so WE have an option, we have paid enough taxes, start using OUR MONEY!!!


You are on Point evan…:clap: Since putting this Post up…We meaning the City/State Government leaders had missed out. what a waste…they did these studies for Years and no Light rail and I was thinking…what is taking them so long ??? Now here we are 2018 going into 2019. ( shaking my head ) Sure I know…Raleigh is not NYC…Atlanta…LA…or Charlotte…But. as I said…Raleigh is a fast growing City and will continue to grow in the coming Years and no light rail, and even if we had no light rail some form of Transit needs to be set…Longer Bus service…more bus shelters w/maps. Wastes Tax money on these studies with 0% results. I’m just stumped ( ???)


I Have Put up this image again to give You a Visual example of…" WHY WE NEED Light Rail ". Now Im sure all of you including Myself have driven Up/Down Capital Blvd. at some point. I have heard from friends that it is a Nightmare in its self. From 8:00am to 12:00 midnight. the most busiest part of traffic in Raleigh. Now Imagine Capital 10 to 20 Years from NOW with nothing being done to relieve traffic congestion, especially during Rush hour traffic and with the oncoming of New residence into Raleigh every year. put that in your minds and say OMG. am I exaggerating …maybe, Then read the comments from Raleighwood and evan.j.bost


One point, Charlotte is not s big city, Raleigh population is but far behind, let’s stop comparing Charlotte to us, they are but even close to NYC or LA or even Atlanta, and goodness, we don’t want to be Atlanta, awful city, so let’s nit o Clyde Charlotte, We are much better than that city, they are not in our Raleigh cool vibe Catagory, they are sterile and boring (and I know, their boring downtown has nothing on our cool vibe downtown, one reason of many the big companies are considering us and drop charlooooote like a rock).
Sorry, tired of the comparisons. WE NEVER WANT TO BE LIKE THAT CITY.


You are Right I’m Sorry just trying to point out that from a traffic standpoint Raleigh will be a Traffic nightmare.


With autonomous vehicles, roads could be used more efficiently (think optimal car spacing, route choice, & merge rates) and thing like Uber pool would work much better as well.


Why. Imagine many Uber pool type services with autonomous vehicles all exchanging info to pick riders up and deliver in an optimal and scalable manner. It also doesn’t lock us into development patterns. For example, imagine if rtp loses its appeal and businesses move to south Raleigh. If we have a rail to rtp we have a useless asset. Also, Reality is the triangle is not nearly dense enough to make rail viable.


The solution to traffic isn’t just one thing. We have to do all of the following:
Walk more
Bike More
Live more densely (so that we can walk and bike more)
More mixed use development (so that we can walk and bike more)
Develop VERY dense nodes to enable transit ridership (and so we can walk and bike more)
Adopt flexible work practices and schedules so that we can maximize the capacities of our roads, and not have all of the cars on the roads at the same time.
Be willing to pay taxes for new public infrastructure. We have to suck it up and pay for the entire initial network, because it’s the right thing to do.
The post WWII, auto-dependent development model is simply not sustainable for a fast growing metro like the Triangle. Just look at Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, etc. for examples of why it isn’t.


With the horrible routes to choose from, there is minimal savings there. Route selection is only much a saver when there is a wreck, which is the primary thing autonomous vehicles are giving you. What are your choices for going to RTP from DTR? 40 and, uh, 40. If there is a wreck you already know to use 54. We do not have good urban form here…really no place has for any area built post WWII. Small items like merge rates are still dictated by physics. If anything, merge rates will slow down as the self driving cars obey physics…most people I see on the interstate are nowhere close to a safe following distance. Even if they respond faster than a human, you are perhaps reducing the following distance from 2 seconds to 1 second maybe? I think too many people are smitten by technology and the idea of little car pods zipping around town on their own while having slept through physics 101 (200 at NC State I think).


Light rail is not the solution to Raleigh’s traffic problem. There is too much sprawl, and not enough centralized locations for stops. The city should continue to research future technologies and adopt something that is designed for sprawled density.


Also, the city really doesn’t have the money to do light rail without state and federal help, and neither the feds nor the general assembly are transit-friendly. To make it work, we’d basically have to bulldoze whole areas of the city and rebuild them with very dense clusters or nodes, as someone said. It’s just not a realistic option in the immediate future.

Concerning Charlotte, while it’s true that Greater Charlotte and the Triangle fairly close in population (2.5M v. 2M), Charlotte has the advantage of having a dense jobs center. I think about half the jobs in CLT are in Uptown, while substantially fewer are in DTR, that makes building a transit system easier because you have one big central destination.

I’m glad the transit plan is countywide and not limited to Raleigh. 1 million v. 450K taxpayers is a big difference and most of Wake Co is growing faster than Raleigh.


As I said, this area can suppoet light rail, you start by linking the universities together to cater to all the students, universities linked to all downtowns, this should have been I oleneted decades ago as an amenity to all universities to get students easy accces to core of each city/town.
This is where light rail starts and build out from there
This is not difficult, enough studies.
Link the universities. Downtowns, RTP and Airport as phase One!!!
AGAIN, enough damn studies, 30 years of them since I lived here and no progress, ENOUGH TALK, ENOUGH STUDIES, JUST DO IT!!!


BRT is in the process currently to be built. The initial corridors where it is planned to go are (IMO) the correct ones to start with. If done well, with dedicated lanes on the vast majority of the routes this can provide very high quality transit service.

Additionally, with a high degree of separation from other traffic and signal priority, these corridors could be a prime candidate for automation. Full automation of all vehicles on all roads still feels like it may be a ways off, but automating a specific route with limited interaction with other traffic could be a more reasonable goal. Automating a set of BRT routes may also allow for increased frequency (due to labor savings) resulting in an incredibly useful service (e.g. 4 min headways).

This could be a forward-looking scale-able solution to our transit needs and would set Raleigh apart from other metros as a innovative but pragmatic city. The primary thing it would take to accomplish is political will.


I’m curious, what informs your opinion that the area can support Light Rail? I’m specifically asking for data here, not just more opinions. I can’t imagine the data supports this point of view, but I could certainly be wrong.


I’m very pro light rail, but you have to think about it in terms of connecting points of origin to points of destination. What is the reason for linking the universities? Are there large numbers of riders going between them? I cant think of this as the bulk of ridership. More likely would be park n rides to capture commuters going downtown and RTP. Any light rail line needs a base ridership (large continent of commuters) and then with the potential to add on for tourist destinations and sport/cultural events.


I would think any mass transit system would be better supported, and much easier to design with spread out job centers/density nodes. Having far flung stops with no ridership, but the ones close in as standing room only, is the analogous situation to roads where there is no traffic on Sunday, but stand still traffic at 5pm. Smooth, even ridership across the system is the most efficient. The whole assumption that a proper city is a 60 story center with cul-de-sacs on the edges, is a learned thought based on what has been fed to us. Historic American, and most European cities and towns are mid density across their entire municipal boundary. This is the most efficient layout you can arrive at.