Ep. 8 – Next Steps for the Wake County Transit Plan

We mentioned briefly that the transit referendum passed, but now, let’s find out what’s next. We spoke with Raleigh’s Transit Administrator David Eatman and Tim Gardiner, Wake County’s Transportation, Transit and Land Use Planner. Both shared some insights about next steps, and don’t worry — you’ll have plenty more opportunities to give specific feedback as things start to change.  

busHere are some useful links, followed by a list of the questions we covered:

Wake Transit Plan

NC Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Raleigh Transit Updates

Question List

The Vote

  • Talk about close vote. Were you surprised? Did it divide as expected?
  • Why do you think it was more popular in certain parts of the county vs others?
  • Some who voted expressed concern that the money would actually be spent on transit. It’s something I heard from people. Can you talk about the legalities here and how this works?

The Money

  • Where can people go to view the budget for this?   
  • When will tax collection actually start? Is there a date?
  • Once the tax collection begins, how long before you can start spending the money? (How does that work?)
  • Talk about your revenue goals and the rest of the funding besides sales tax.
  • Does this mean new hires on a county or city level?
  • Wake County sales tax is 2%; combined with State rate that’s 6.75% total that residents pay – explain how much more something that’s $10 will cost. (I think this is confusing for a lot of people)

The Philosophy

  • James and I explained a bit about the plan’s philosophy in terms of balancing ridership with coverage. How does that play out in real life now that there is money behind it?
  • One thing touched on is that more routes =more riders = more $$; will more access to transit lead to more people spending money locally vs say, ordering online?


  • What are the first things residents will actually see out on the streets?
  • New buses were mentioned in the plan. Can you talk more about what people will see in terms of changes to the buses themselves?
  • Stops and shelter improvements were on the list of things we heard would be early improvements. And we noticed the potential designs on display at CAM. Can you talk about the results of that and what to expect?
  • How many bus shelters is estimated to be erected?
  • Will all lollipop-only bus stops get an improvement?


  • What are the first steps?
  • How, for example, would a street like New Bern Avenue be affected by BRT, if one lane is dedicated to bus service, do the cars lose out?

Commuter Rail

  • Obviously, this part is going to take the longest. Can you talk to us about how you get going on something like this?
  • Based on that, when do you expect it to be operational?
  • Is it possible technology will improve transit options such that commuter rail may eventually be excluded?


  • Where can people keep up with what’s going on?
  • Will there be public information or input sessions during these changes?