Just yesterday, I said to gird your wallets.
Apparently, that call was right on target:
Public transportation is another top priority for the incoming commissioners, including a new transit hub in downtown Raleigh.
“We saw a 2007 plan basically frozen in time, and only recently has it been dug out and have we started to work on refreshing that,” Calabria said.
Durham and Orange counties have moved forward on transit – each implemented a half-cent sales tax to fund projects – but the issue has been a non-starter for the Republican majority on the Wake County Board of Commissioners in recent years. The Democrats pledged the discussion of mass transit will be revived in Wake County.
Hutchinson said he wants to move forward with a half-cent sales tax for transit in the county, noting that it would double the county’s bus capacity in the next 18 months. The other six members of new board also support the plan, he said.
“That’s what we need to move forward on. We need to give our citizens a voice and a vote on their transportation future,” he said. – WRAL, 11/05/14, New Wake Commissioners plan to maintain bloc
The 2007 plan was “frozen in time” because of this thing that folks might have heard of called the recession? There were bigger priorities than a mass transit hub. As for moving forward with a voice and vote, that sounds like bond referendum talk to me = future tax hike.
I don’t think anyone sees a mere half cent tax increase doing the job either. To make up for that, they can always give Southern Wake the short end of the stick like they received when the 540 extension came through. YAY, Southern Wake is the only section that has tolls! Which is why I, and likely other Southern Wake residents, rarely use it and why it looks like a ghost town speedway.
The dust was blown off mass transit in 2010 with light rail and AMTRAK expansion and then came up again in 2012 with a large price tag and 2013. In 2014, there are still impact studies being done about rail and regularly used roads.
In 2010, a “Union Station” like scenario was proposed that would cost NC around $210 million:
“Federal funds would be sought for 80 percent of the cost, estimated at $150 million to $210 million, with Raleigh and North Carolina splitting the rest.”
– News and Observer, 4/23/10, Raleigh will consider new transit proposal
Our AMTRAK capability arguably needs upgrades, but a word of caution on going the direction of light and/or high speed rail: California.
It’s worth noting that a repeating issue of ‘rural access’ to mass transit (buses) has been consistent since 2007. It’s also worth keeping in mind that people love their cars. The vast majority of people in Wake county own a car.
Related Read: 2007 Wake County Community Assessment