Based on the recent 2018 State of Downtown Report published by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, there are currently 47,000 jobs in Downtown Raleigh. There are approximately 645,930 jobs in the Raleigh-Cary MSA as of 2015, meaning that DTR captures a little over 7% of the total jobs in the area. Charlotte has almost double the jobs in its center city at 98k, but still only represents 8.6% of the metro area. Austin, TX has 131k jobs in its core, representing close to 14% of their total - possibly explaining the significantly worse traffic with almost 3 times the number of people trying to get to DT with only marginally better transit options.
For reference, Chicago has 561k jobs in the loop district of its downtown, representing almost half of the jobs in the city of Chicago and 12.5% of the total jobs in the metro. Atlanta has 111k jobs in its downtown, only 4% of the total jobs in the metro.
Efficient high-capacity transit makes it possible to move a lot of people in and out of a small area (i.e. Chicago), but an entirely different set of problems exist for a city like Raleigh. Traffic isn’t terrible in Raleigh, because everyone is going to different places. But it also makes efficient transit tricky.
So here is the problem - we don’t have high capacity fixed-route transit because we don’t need it but we (arguably) don’t have a high density employment center because we don’t have an efficient way to move people in and out of it.