As Wake County continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, Wake County citizens, along with government, university, and private sector leaders have responded by proposing a modern public transportation plan that will be on the ballot November 8. Here is what you need to know about the Wake County Transit Plan before you head out to vote.
Anyone who drives in Wake County has encountered frustrating traffic congestion and long commutes on our highways on a daily basis. As a result, most everyone agrees that something must be done to address the growing traffic congestion, and building more roads can’t be the only answer. Are you wary of using public transportation? If so, remember, there are many citizens who will choose to do so, meaning less traffic congestion on a daily basis and more time for you at work or home. According to Wake Transit, its implementation could take more than one million miles of travel off of our roads every day by offering people attractive alternatives to driving. More than 50% of homes and 70% of jobs will be within half a mile of a transit stop across Wake County.
The 10-year Wake County Transit Plan will:
- Provide triple the current bus service in just the first few years, connecting each town in the county.
- Build a frequent “Bus Rapid Transit” network in high-traffic areas that will incorporate dedicated bus lanes, level boarding platforms, and other enhanced features that will improve the speed and quality of service.
- Create a brand-new commuter rail line that will utilize preexisting tracks to provide a backbone of passenger train service across the county, thereby enabling people to completely avoid daily road traffic congestion.
- Expand the frequent network (which is every 15 minutes) from 17 miles to 83 miles. All service will be be expanded to 19 hours a day.
The Wake County Transit Plan has been in development for more than a year, with input from Wake County citizens and representatives from local universities, hospitals, businesses, every Wake County municipality, civic groups, and the Wake County Public School System.
Wake County government conducted hundreds of community listening sessions, received thousands of survey responses, polled current transit riders, and advertised the Plan’s development to hundreds of thousands of residents. With the help of world-renowned transportation expert Jarrett Walker, Wake County ultimately developed a comprehensive transit plan. Finally, on June 6, 2016, the Wake County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the plan and place it on the ballot this election.
The 10-year plan is conservatively projected to cost $2.3 billion. The transit plan is designed to be funded through a combination of local, state, and federal dollars, as well as farebox revenue. The main funding source for the transit plan is the local half-cent sales tax (on the ballot November 8), which would provide a dedicated, locally-controlled funding source to help pay for the approved transit plan and is needed to help secure federal and state funds. The sales tax, which will not apply to food, medicine, or housing, will come in part from tourists and other visitors, which will decrease the overall portion paid by Wake residents.
For more information about the Wake County Transit Plan, you can visit their website or Facebook page. For more information about living, working, and commuting in Wake County, contact Real Estate Experts at 919-813-6449.