According to recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates, about 8.2 million people moved between states during 2022, which was a 3.6% increase over the previous year. A steady stream of newcomers from other states and nations has solidified Wake County and the Greater Triangle Region as a top destination for relocations of people and their vehicles. This growth has magnified the area’s need for transit service improvements and infrastructure investments that result in a system that is safe, accessible, and adds to the quality of life of all residents. Yet, the continued development of public transit systems toward this end also raises awareness of the vital need to implement improvements that not only provide a variety of transit options but are also in sync with local communities, the environment, and the economy. One solution being developed with the assistance of the Wake Transit Plan is Wake Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
BRT is a high-capacity bus-based transit system that delivers fast and efficient service that may include dedicated lanes, busways, traffic signal priority, off board fare collection, elevated platforms, and enhanced stations, according to the City of Raleigh. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Wake BRT: New Bern Avenue Corridor was held on November 7, 2023. It celebrated the beginning of construction on Wake BRT’s first corridor. The event also showcased Wake BRT’s first bus. Featured speakers at the groundbreaking included Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, Wake County Commission Chair Shinica Thomas, NCDOT Secretary Joey Hopkins, and other elected officials, transit representatives, and community leaders. Baldwin, who also serves as Vice Chair of GoTriangle’s Board of Trustees, praised the vision and progress of Wake BRT, pointing out that it will be the first such system in North Carolina. Thomas echoed the sentiment expressed by the mayor, as did Hopkins who added that Wake BRT “fits our vision for a project that is equitable, safe, and reliable.”
There is still time for residents to participate in one of several remaining community engagement events scheduled for the Wake BRT: Western Corridor, Wake BRT: Southern Corridor, and Wake BRT: Western Corridor, which each originate in downtown Raleigh. For more details about these events, visit: https://raleighnc.gov/transportation/services/what-brt-bus-rapid-transit/brt-project-connect-five-weeks-engage
For the latest Wake BRT information and events, visit: https://raleighnc.gov/transportation/services/what-bus-rapid-transit-brt
For a general calendar of transit and other Raleigh events, visit https://raleighnc.gov/events
Visit the GOFORWARD Website to submit comments: goforwardnc.org/getinvolvedwake
The opportunity to participate in the Public Comment Period for two Wake Bus Plan items is available through November 20, 2023. They were first made available for public input on November 6, 2023. The Wake Transit community is invited to review and comment on both documents throughout the public input period:
- Wake Bus Plan ADA Funding Policy Draft
- Wake Bus Plan Service Standards and Performance Guidelines Draft
The Wake Bus Plan ADA Funding Policy is a technical memorandum designed to establish a transparent and efficient process for budgeting and reimbursing the costs of complimentary ADA paratransit services related to the expansion and growth of Wake Transit Plan-funded, fixed-route transit investments. These services are required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Wake Bus Plan Service Standards and Performance Guidelines establish a framework and rationale for operation and investment in transit services in Wake County. Design guidelines help ensure that similar types of service are being implemented the same way across the county.
The Wake Transit community and the general public are invited to review these two items and provide relevant comments. There are several ways to submit input. More information is available by visiting: http://goforwardnc.org/getinvolvedwake
The morning’s bus commute started aboard GoTriangle Route 300 from Cary Depot and ended with a short walk from a stop along Salisbury Street to the site of the Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility (RUS Bus). The day’s groundbreaking ceremony was entertaining, informational, and meaningful to the Wake Transit community. About 100 project partners and stakeholders were on hand to celebrate a significant milestone in the forward progress of this infrastructure investment. A media presence helped inform the public of the event.
RUS Bus became a reality in 2018 when GoTriangle was awarded a $20 million BUILD grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. State and local funds also support the project. RUS Bus is a critical project for going forward with Wake Transit’s Four Big Moves of connecting the region, connecting all Wake County communities, creating frequent and reliable urban mobility, and enhancing access to transit.
GoTriangle is a Wake Transit lead agency and partner; it is also serving as project sponsor of RUS Bus. The project will weave together a street-level bus facility with bike- and pedestrian-friendly spaces. The multimodal RUS Bus facility will provide seamless connections between Amtrak rail, as well as local and regional bus services, and Bus Rapid Transit.
Remediation and the demolition of three former warehouse buildings began in the spring of 2022. A portion of warehouse brick frontage was preserved to incorporate into the new development. Upcoming construction activities will include site work, utility installation, roadway improvements, building construction, and site restoration.
RUS Bus is slated to open mid-2025. The overall project is designed to deliver a vibrant, integrated joint development called “Union West” into the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh. RUS Bus will be adjacent to the existing Raleigh Union Station. Additionally, private development is expected to include multifamily residential, including affordable housing, and retail in one central and vibrant destination.
RUS Bus: rusbusnc.com
GoTriangle’s groundbreaking ceremony:
Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant.
- The RUS Bus project began in 2018 when GoTriangle won a $20 million BUILD grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- In FY 2020, progress on the Raleigh Union Station Bus facility included securing rezoning from the Raleigh City Council, selecting a developer, and initiating design.
- Remediation and demolition began on the 1.76-acre site in spring 2022.
- The GoTriangle Groundbreaking Ceremony was Tuesday, October 24th, 2023, 10:15 am.
- RUS Bus is slated to open in mid-2025.
- The RUS Bus Facility site is located along Martin Street in downtown Raleigh, NC.
Key Project Partners
- GoTriangle, Sponsor Agency
- Hoffman & Associates, Development Partner
- City of Raleigh
- North Carolina Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO)
- North Carolina Department of Transportation
- United States Department of Transportation
- Wake County
- Wake Transit Plan
GoTriangle employees helped break ground on RUS Bus October 24, 2023 in downtown Raleigh, NC.