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Re: “Some questions that need answers as another attempt at Wake transit planning approaches

On tax revenue

Tax revenues would be $73.5 million annually in Wake County ($53.4 million in sales tax, and the rest from vehicle registration). The entire CAT bus system today has an annual operating budget of $18.6 million. Triangle Transit's bus system has an annual operating budget of $12.7 million, which only partially goes to Wake County. So the tax revenue could have a dramatic impact on transit service, if properly allocated.

On rail:

The last transit plan tried to please suburban voters with commuter rail that they would not use... $330 million to build the Wake portion of commuter rail! Commuter rail would be spread over 37 miles, providing service only every 30 minutes during rush-hour, plus a few isolated trips otherwise. The station placement depends on park and ride lots, and would require most workers in downtown Raleigh and RTP to transfer to a shuttle after they get off the train, a shuttle would add 30 minutes to a person's round-trip commute. This is a very unattractive service that encourages urban sprawl, not Transit Oriented Development. The daily ridership estimates range from 2000 trips/day in 2020 to 7500 in 2040... even at it's peak, these numbers can be easily handled by buses with much lower capital and operating costs.

On attractive bus service:

There is a trade-off between providing high-frequency bus service and a large service area, but if we don't spend the bulk of the money on a single commuter rail line, bus service could cover most of the county with high frequencies on all major corridors.

On transit oriented development:

If Transit Oriented Development is the goal, a condensed, frequent service is needed. Bus Rapid Transit has resulted in billions in development in Cleveland, Vegas, and Kansas City, all at a fraction of the capital and operating costs as rail. Busways, such as in Pittsburgh and Hartford, can be built a long a rail corridor at a fraction of the cost. And where light-rail is unaffordable, streetcars are popping up like in Detroit, Cincinnati, Charlotte, and Atlanta. A 2.5 mile streetcar between downtown, NCSU, and Cameron village would probably cost $150 million, serve more people then 37 miles of commuter rail, with low operating costs (comparable to buses), and high attractiveness to transit oriented development.

On the politics:

70% of voter's in Charlotte voted against repealing their transit-tax in 2007; with transit having strong support from Pat McCrory and business groups... if a proper plan is developed this time, it won't be a partisan issue.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by GoingForward on 11/26/2014 at 1:55 PM

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