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Re: “Durham Commissioners Back $15 Minimum Wage and Paid Parental Leave

This simply shows how totally ignorant these commissioners are. That they know little about politics is overshadowed by their complete lack of knowledge about economics and how free enterprise works! Businesses work for a profit. By raising the nearly doubling the minimum wage, you are forcing businesses to cut corners to keep their profit margin. If they cannot make a profit, why should they stay in business?

This drastic increase in wages will cause the very employees whom the commissioners intend to help greater hardships. There hours will be cut and, when that doesn’t work (and it will not) to save the “profit-margin”, some will be laid off. Please tell me, commissioners, how does raising ones wages, to the point that the employer can no longer afford to employ these minimum waged employees, help them?

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ronald Hagler on 10/06/2016 at 7:56 PM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

Thanks Indy for covering this very timely issue right now because all Wake County voters can have a say by voting on the public transportation referendum at the END of the ballot! Flip your ballot and be sure and vote FOR public transportation!

Want to point out that the while the total cost of the Wake Transit Plan is $2.3 billion spread out over 10 years, the sales tax portion is just 48% of it -- not all of it, as per the title of the article. The total cost will also be shared by the federal and state govt, transit fares, car rental tax etc.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Karen Rindge on 10/06/2016 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Wake County School Board Chairman Says Sheriff Donnie Harrison Is Playing Politics with Transgender Students’ Lives

I would hire a two-piece dinner (quarter dark, french fries, iced tea) to watch over our kids before considering this yahoo.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by raleighispcool on 10/06/2016 at 2:47 PM

Re: “Federal Judge Protects Red Wolves, Blasts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One bright day in a Dark Dark era. Rejoice!

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steve Rodriguez on 10/06/2016 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

Thanks Linda. Indeed, can certainly be complicated. Manufacturing of bus, car, etc and associated infrastructure have many costs (many hidden from discussion).

One thing that fascinates me is how new technologies and emerging business models are already starting to change the transit landscape.

For example, recent studies show that ride-sharing can have dramatic impact on traffic congestion ... in some cases 10:1 reduction.
* Here's How Many Cars This Car-Sharing Service Killed
* ASU team first to prove Uber eases traffic congestion
* Arizona State University: Do Ride-Sharing Services Affect Traffic Congestion? An Empirical Study of Uber Entry

* Uber beta testing $2 flat-fee rides in some metro areas
* New Yorkers Can Now Get Unlimited Uber For $100
* Uber trying flat fares in city's inner loop

* UBER and LYFT considered to replace public buses in two US cities

I'll have to consider Brno for my travel bucket list. :-)

Looks like they have a huge / concentrated student population accounting for > 20% of the town's population with 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students. Wow!

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Alex Cabanes on 10/06/2016 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?


Question regarding point #1: why must mass transit pay its own way? We don't insist that of our road networks or air travel?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sogno on 10/06/2016 at 11:20 AM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

Alex, thanks for your thoughtful comments. It's a complicated topic. My thoughts on your points:

1) You have a good point about the total cost. When both types of rides, we should consider the cost for roads, stop lights, parking lots and garages, parking meters, vehicles, insurance, etc.

2) You're right that empty buses Manufacturing a car uses about 17 tonnes or 18 tons of carbon. Building the infrastructure mentioned above takes more. Maintaining a car takes even more (new tires, driving around just to find parking, get gas, get inspections, etc.). And finally there's the gas used in each trip.…

The more convenient and affordable the buses are, the more they will be fuller. In the article's example, a relatively empty bus that helped Crabtree workers get home after the mall closed would also mean fuller mid-day buses.

3) Our best experience was in Brno in the Czech Republic, which is comparable in size and density to Raleigh (populations 400K and 450K respectively). It's so much like Raleigh that it has a big Red Hat building! In the Triangle, we have the advantage of being able to connect to Chapel Hill and Durham.

It's a huge quality of life advantage to be able to travel without relying on a car, for residents and for visitors.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Linda Watson on 10/06/2016 at 10:15 AM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

Linda, sorry about your accident. Couple of things come to mind about your statements:

1. Your lower transit cost. Many may not realize that the fare that you pay for the bus typically represents less than 20% of the actual cost of the bus or public transit. In 2014, Raleigh's farebox recovery was 12.6%, the rest was subsidized by tax payers. So your $1.25 fare actually costs ~ $10 per trip. The 'farebox recovery' is much higher outside of the US, in some cases reaching 170% in high population density cities like Tokyo, where they actually make a profit from public transit.

2. Your smaller carbon footprint. Many assume that using public transit is always more environmentally sound. That depends on the service effectiveness, or how many passengers, on average, are on the bus as it travels through the various routes. If the bus is full on the way into town during 'rush hour' but empty on the way back, that cuts the efficiency in half. Looking at the Raleigh 2014 federal filings in the NTD database, Raleigh (CAT) buses were running, on average, with 2.3 passengers on a bus with a capacity of 30+ seats (or less than 10% full). The average diesel bus has a fuel efficiency of ~ 5mpg ... so if you drive a car with 15 mpg + field efficiency, the car (ironically) produces a smaller carbon footprint than your ride on the Raleigh bus.

3. Your European experience. I agree, many European cities have awesome public transit. This is a common comparison, but is greatly influenced by the population density. In Raleigh, the population density is ~ 3000 people per square mile, as compared to European cities that have much higher densities (for example, Barcelona Spain has ~40,000 people per square mile). With increased population density, you have much more usage / need for public transit, and better environmental / economic dynamics.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Alex Cabanes on 10/06/2016 at 9:30 AM

Re: “Love Wins: Multiple Sclerosis, Cycling, Death, and a Coming-Out Story

Natalie, thank you for writing about your life with Vicki, and your life without her. You are courageous and it is an honor to know you.
All the best to you.
Allison Thompson

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Allison Thompson on 10/05/2016 at 9:07 PM

Re: “The Morning Roundup: A Charlotte Update, Trump Denied in Greensboro, and Radio Drama in Fayetteville

Coldest regards to radio un-free WFAY and to administration of ECU. Reading the riot act to band members and a refusal to broadcast a football game over a protest by some students makes me wonder why those self evident truths I learned about are not as important as knowing that those folks in "charge" remain true to the evils of censorship. Protests in many forms are as patriotic as any song,. as American as any oath and as topical as any holiday celebrating freedom. For those uneducated, like myself, please send me a list of rules to follow beyond those written by the rich hyper-educated elitist slave owner signers of our Constitution. Glenn Maughan. ECU class '85

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Maughan on 10/05/2016 at 9:01 PM

Re: “Wake County School Board Chairman Says Sheriff Donnie Harrison Is Playing Politics with Transgender Students’ Lives

From an old movie years ago, What we have here is a failure to communicate. That is because Sheriff Donnie Harrison, is a very Ignorant assumer. The word assuming, definition is to be pretentious, presumptuous, arrogant, and based without proof of any kind. Seems to fit Mr. Harrison perfectly, as all of the definition fits. A bit of education on the matter would help him to not look as a fool. FYI Mr. Harrison, it's a birth anomaly where the Transgender person has a brain programmed as a woman and not the sex he was assigned at birth by what was between their legs. Education goes a long way, as It is harder to conceal ignorance than to acquire knowledge. May you succeed and understand.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rich Landry on 10/05/2016 at 7:02 PM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

I'm in another demographic group the transit planners hope to attract: families trying to get by with one car no matter what their income level. My truck was totaled in an accident 18 months ago. For almost a year I couldn't drive. The silver lining was lower costs and a smaller carbon footprint, so for now we are sticking with one car. Everyone is just an accident away from having to rely on others for transportation. The "accident" that is climate change should also encourage folks to have fewer vehicles and drive fewer miles.

I used to ride the bus from Five Points to downtown to work every day, but hadn't ridden it in years until this month. We'd spent nearly a month in Europe relying on public transportation which was clean, timely, and frequent. The experience inspired me to take the bus from west Raleigh to NCSU and downtown. Both rides were clean, timely, and air conditioned. Raleigh's recommended TransLoc Rider app let me see where the buses were on the line, so I didn't worry that I'd missed the bus. Maybe one car is all we need!

On the other hand, the buses come only every half hour and most of my drives take 20 minutes or less. If the buses came every 10 or 15 minutes, taking them would be come the first choice for anyone who wants to avoid traffic and parking hassles. We also need routes that don't rely on the hub system. I shouldn't have to go from west Raleigh to downtown before going to North Hills. It's a 10 minute drive and an hour bus trip each way. Let's at least have a Beltline loop.

The information crawler inside the bus mostly displayed the date and the route name. Sometimes it displayed key stops, but sometimes *after* the bus passed the stop being displayed. (This happened for route 4 at Ridgewood.) Most European buses and trams helpfully display the name or number of the next stop. This is especially useful for visitors and new riders.

The TransLoc Rider app is useful but intrusive. To make it work, you must turn on your phone's location services and allow the app to track your location *even when you are not using it.* TransLoc says that this will help with route planning, but that should be an option not a requirement. Most apps have the option to access your location only when you are using the app. To prevent constant tracking, I switch my phone settings before and after using the app.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Linda Watson on 10/05/2016 at 6:32 PM

Re: “In North Carolina’s Absentee Ballot Data, Good News for Democrats

to be picky, you need to compare 10/3/2016 with 10/1/2012 because the 2016 election is two days later -- so your stats slightly inflate the 2012 statistics (generally the SBoE statewide is getting about 5,000 requests a day). But you did a great job of data diving in a very useful story.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gercohen1 on 10/05/2016 at 4:52 PM

Re: “Wake County School Board Chairman Says Sheriff Donnie Harrison Is Playing Politics with Transgender Students’ Lives

Republicans are idiots..what more can you say about these assholes.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tony D on 10/05/2016 at 4:30 PM

Re: “Did House Speaker Tim Moore Even Read the Body-Cam Bill He Passed?

Just adds to the facts that republicans are incompetent when it comes to making laws...They rush them thru without debate. I doubt any of them read it ...they just follow suit if one republican says vote yes they all do ..they are mindless drones incapable of common sense and reasoning and self thoughts. They look to each other for facts...and when none appear (none do)they make them up.

Their level of stupidity knows no bounds and is dragging this state down the toilet.
Anyone voting for these incompetent jerks are stupid themselves.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tony D on 10/05/2016 at 4:25 PM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

I really want to support this, but I'm not OK with yet another hike in vehicle registration fees. I already pay $130 more than most everyone else because my car is zero-emission.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by ecodweeb on 10/05/2016 at 1:29 PM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

As a strong supporter of the new Wake plan, I'm disappointed that Paul blames the republicans for the decision to not pursue LRT. If I remember correctly, the independent consultants, hired by the democrats, recommended bus rapid transit as a more flexible and cost effective alternative.

If voters say "yes", Wake will have countywide transportation before Durham and Orange residents get to ride on a LRT that connects UNC with Durham, and leaves commuters in the dust.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Bonnie Hauser on 10/05/2016 at 11:21 AM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

Thanks Paul. While you focused on the utility of the current (broken) bus system, I wish you would have done more investigation of actual utilization. Placing more capacity for a service that has low utilization is not going to fix anything, and may actually contribute more pollution and traffic congestion by increasing the number of empty buses on the road. If you look at the actual statistics filed with Federal government, specifically:

Passenger (UPT = Unlinked Passenger Trips) per bus travel mile (VRM = Vehicle Revenue Mile).

2.3 Raleigh
0.6 Cary
4.4 NCSU

So a bus with 30+ seat capacity, on average has less than 3 passengers per travel mile or less than 10% capacity utilization with the exception of NCSU (or in Cary ~2% utilization). So in Cary, for every crowded bus with 30 passengers, there are 50 empty buses driving around looking for passengers. Typical diesel bus fuel efficiency ~5 mpg, so with an average of 3 passengers, roughly 15 mpg effective fuel efficiency.

Low capacity utilization is not environmentally or economically sound.


3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Alex Cabanes on 10/05/2016 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Wake County’s Mass Transit System Is a Mess. Can a $2.3 Billion Referendum Save It?

One can't help but escape the feeling that rightwing-extremist organizations like John Locke or Wake County Taxpayers Association (or community activists like Octavia Rainey) may not have the average person's best interests at heart.

I may not ever ride the bus, but as someone who spends 90-150 minutes of my day staring at the vegetation off of I-40, I am pragmatic to know that pulling a few cars off the road is in my interest. I also care to see folks who can't afford a car aren't condemned to a life of isolation. We should be empowering our neighbors, and if it costs a little more, so be it.

Besides, John Locke foundation can bitch all they want, but they're welcome to point out how much revenue the 'Fortify' project is bringing into the region. Last I checked, the DOT is burying the hell out of that pricetag.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Sogno on 10/05/2016 at 10:53 AM

Re: “Korean Fried Chicken and More at Durham's M Kokko by Chef Michael Lee

Hey ZZ, stop trolling. Allie wasn't commissioned for this pic -- she was eating lunch at this restaurant & took a picture of her lunch. She posted it on Instagram, and the Indy thought it looked cool.

BTW, you can check out her portfolio at, she's the real deal.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Charlie Reece on 10/05/2016 at 10:45 AM

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