The Future of transit in Raleigh

That Cross Current looks very cool. Keep us posted on how you like it and commuting on it.


Thanks for the link. That one’s a tough read. I find myself disagreeing with nearly all of it.

It’s a very logically twisted argument that ignores the elephant in the room… more people commute between Wake and Durham county than any other two counties in the state by a very large margin. It is impossible to use objective metrics to define the Triangle as two metro areas and not split all metro areas in the country into their constituent counties, so one has to use emotional appeals, as this paper does.

I live in Orange county and commute to the Durham/Wake border every day. It’s pretty common for me to spend days doing things in all three counties.

To top it off they list Raleigh-Durham-Cary as a multi-core metro area with several other multi-core metro areas which are still considered single MSAs (Minneapolis-St Paul and Dallas-Ft Worth for instance), though all the same non-arguments could apply to them.


On thee topic of the Triangle being a multi-core metro area, it looks like that “regionalism” being poorly-defined was one of many issues that killed the Durham light rail project.

That’s not coming from my opinions; GoTriangle commissioned a post-mortem report to look at what went wrong, and what they need to do better.

Surprise surprise, they got roasted pretty hard.

  • GoTriangle never explained how this solves a problem the Triangle had. (it’s the “wtf y u no have airport link” problem, but GoTriangle never gave a good answer people liked)

  • A lot of people didn’t know who they were or what they were doing. Whether it’s how CEO Jeff Mann was also the project manager, how the Board of Trustees isn’t represented by the people they serve, or how there was no communication plan/point-persons for sticky questions, everyone’s roles were defined terribly.

who am I, even.

  • Even more people weren’t involved. Citizens who were eminent domain’d for the maintenance facility, business leaders etc. were never on the same page -all while GoTriangle was like:

"This is Fine" dog

  • There were too many moving parts that depended on set-in-stone agreements that weren’t there. GoTriangle engineers wasted weeks on designing things only to throw it all away when Duke or NCRR/Norfolk Southern sent out its latest demands

Once you see this,… is it just me, or is anyone else also REALLY worried about Raleigh’s shot at BRT?

Interesting quotes from the report

Full report here


I’m not worried about BRT in Raleigh because the City’s transit division is in charge of it, not GoTriangle. They’ve got really good people in charge of this, and it’s not reliant on state funding or handouts from private sector institutions like Duke.

The two things that can stop Raleigh BRT are 1) the Federal government, which is particularly anti-transit under the current administration, and 2) some nonsense about “gentrification” hitting the wrong ears and killing the forest for the trees. That said, the incoming Council seems to be much less reactionary so I think we’re in good shape.

I work in the field and throughout GoTriangle there definitely is a sense that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, and that was the case from the executive staff all the way down. Since DOLRT died at least a half-dozen really good planners have left. Hopefully they find a new CEO who stops the bleeding, because we need them to deliver on commuter rail.


Anyone has heard of this new type of transport


I checked the GoTriangle implementation schedule and that all-day/weekend 305 service is coming next fiscal year - yay!

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It’s not really new; it’s just more obscure (and hasn’t been hyped up until recently).
Guided buses have been around since the 80s in Europe and Japan, plus two other, more recent European attempts at similar things are also out there (the Bombardier Guided Light Rail and the Translohr)

They all seem pretty cool, but there are some serious infrastructure and maintenance problems that need to be solved first… (that, and probably FTA approval, since it’s never been done in the US before)


Yes- GoRaleigh is a completely different agency with completely different governance that answers only to City Council, not some assorted basket of regional representatives.

There is something about the governance and the agency of GoTriangle that has caused them to go 0 for 2 so far. They need to sort it out or else the commuter rail will make it 0 for 3. NCRR is the key partner on that one. They have to be 100% on board with the whole project. No kicking the can down the road again please.


I’m suprised by how much I’ve seen this “trackless tram” think popping up recently, since it’s mostly just buses with a different form factor. Maybe people are excited about them since they look more like LR?

Well, if hiding them bus’s wheels increases buy-in on public transit, I’m fine with it.


I like this guy’s imagineering.
The beauty of the routing is it actually follows the big spots on I-440 and then provides a good bit of grid coverage for downtown/NCSU and on to Blue Ridge and RDU.

The suggested ‘skytran’ modal works great for a non linear layout like this.



I like the layout, not the tracks overlaying each other themselves.


With cars that small, I am deeply skeptical that that could ever be a viable transit system for the 400,000+ people living in the city, and million more that go in and out throughout the week.

The problem with all of these “I can’t believe it’s not trains” systems is they don’t have to rely on the hard accountancy that tried and tested systems have.


As for trackless trams… those have existed for a hundred years. They’re called ‘trolley buses’, and that can actually be a solid system. The problem with those is that the overhead wires are ugly, though that problem has gotten less bad with modern designs.

I would be totally in favor of making the BRT system electric trolleybuses as well. I think that is a major ingredient that BRT systems are missing.

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Took this picture when arriving in Warsaw Poland. Was a bit surprised at all that was going on, the lanes of car traffic, buses, rail and bike lanes in between rail lines all going into downtown. All complementing and not competing.



Oh I was trying to be generous by ignoring trolleys in the first place :joy: y’know. In the spirit of the pretty pictures @Garciavic had in mind.

But trolleys (if you don’t count trackless trams as one) still need to be driven instead of just being operated along a predefined track. This means you get all the infrastructure problems of trams/trains like having to install electrical wires or getting physically disconnected from a power source. …but you don’t the improvements in ride quality (when’s the last time you felt the brakes being slammed on a train?) and better stations (e.g. how level will your vehicle be to the platform?).

The overhead wires are definitely less awful to look at these days -but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re potential safety issues. And with our allergy to commercial vehicle height restrictions and winter weather-related power outages around here… I can’t say I’d trust a GoRaleigh/GoTriangle trolley system unless they really get the engineering right.

@softfurrykitty gotta love Warsaw Pact countries and how they got some things right (like not buying into cars as a symbol of “freedom”) lol.


Lol, I get it but here public transport won’t get you past a tank of gas in car, for now. Freedom only goes a short distance on public trans here.

Meanwhile in Luxemburg


Awesome! Now, it’s been almost a year, how has it gone? Anyone have the to check?

It is most definitely NOT free. Their high tax rate pays for it.


Free as in roads and most highways are ‘free’ here.