A look at what’s ahead for transit in the city this spring.
➊WAKE COUNTY TRANSIT PLAN
We’re in the second year of Wake County’s 10-year, $2.3 billion transit plan, and there are lots of changes on the horizon. In the next fiscal year beginning in July, Wake will invest $4.7 million in planning for 20 miles of bus rapid transit and 37 miles of commuter rail services, at a total long-term cost of $47 million. Starting this year, riders 18 years old and younger will be able to ride public buses for free, to encourage them to become lifelong transit users. GoRaleigh and GoTriangle will get more, new buses; 55 bus stops will receive improvements and the county will add and improve park-and-ride lots. Additionally, GoRaleigh, GoCary and GoTriangle will build on their expanded services from 2017, adding new routes and increased frequency.
In Raleigh, there will be new bus routes along Poole, Barwell, Rock Quarry, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sunnybrook Roads, adding services to schools, shopping and community centers in Southeast Raleigh. The plan will also realign the Rex Hospital route, adding four new routes along Blue Ridge and Edwards Mill Roads to serve the NC Museum of Art, the NC State Fairgrounds and PNC Arena.
GoTriangle will increase frequency on its express routes between Durham and Raleigh (DRX), and Chapel Hill and Raleigh (CRX). It will add service hours to Service 100, which serves RDU Airport and Route 300, running between Cary and Raleigh. Finally, the on-demand service Wake Tracs, which serves elderly and disabled customers, will add more than 3,600 trips, an the Regional Transit Information Center will expand its operating hours. Reach them with questions at 919-485-RIDE. Email your comments on the work plan to firstname.lastname@example.org before March 12, or get more information on the plan at waketransit.com.
➋ UNION STATION OPENING
At long last, downtown Raleigh’s Union Station will open in late spring in the Warehouse District! In this fi rst phase, the station will feature a grand civic hall and retail, dining and offi ce space; amenities for Amtrak passengers including a waiting room, a center island passenger platform and a daylit, enclosed concourse between the station and platform; a large public gathering place near the intersection of West and Martin Streets, and sustainable features including a pollinator garden and green roof areas. Future phases of the station will accommodate inter- and intra-city and commuter rail ser- vices, local and regional buses, taxis, bikes and more.
Local artists are invited to submit designs for 10 of the city’s bus shelters to the Office of Raleigh Arts. If you’re the artsy type, create an original image for a vinyl wrap that will be applied to a city bus shelter this summer; playful images that will engage families are encouraged. Selected artists receive a $750 honorarium, and their work will be displayed on a GoRaleigh bus shelter for at least a year. Submissions must be received by March 15. Learn more at raleighnc.gov.
In May, the city will install a protected, two-way bike lane known, as a cycletrack, running for fi ve blocks on West Street between Martin and Jones Streets and connecting the Warehouse District to Glenwood South. Cycletracks off er cyclists a dedicated bike lane that’s protected from motorists, parked cars and sidewalks by physical barriers, such as planters, fl exible posts or medians. The West Street pilot is a partnership between the city and Raleigh cycling communi- ty group Oaks & Spokes, which will contribute $20,000 toward the project. At the end of the pilot period in November, the city will evaluate its success and decide whether to install a cycle track permanently, as well as in other locations around Raleigh. Provide your input on the West Street Cyletrack pilot through the City of Raleigh’s website at raleighnc.gov.