When voters approved the Wake Transit Plan in 2016, the northern route of the planned bus rapid transit network in Raleigh was the least defined. Maps showed the line extending no more than a couple of miles north of downtown on Capital Boulevard.
Now planners have settled on two destinations — the Midtown or North Hills area and Triangle Town Center — and are asking for the public’s thoughts on the best ways to get there.
They’ll present their ideas at three public meetings, on Nov. 28 and 30 and Dec. 12 (details below). People can also see the basic outlines and weigh in through an online survey available until Dec. 15 at publicinput.com/northernbrt.
The survey also asks people how they get around now, whether they might use bus rapid transit and where along the routes they’d want to go.
The Wake Transit Plan calls for four bus rapid transit or BRT lines radiating from downtown Raleigh. BRT buses get priority green lights at intersections and often travel in their own dedicated lanes, to avoid getting slowed by traffic. Passengers buy tickets in advance and board from covered, elevated platforms, not unlike trains.
Construction begins this winter on the first of the four lines, along New Bern Avenue between downtown and New Hope Road. Those buses are expected to be operating by the end of 2025.
The city is doing early design work on the southern leg, which will connect downtown with Garner, following South Wilmington Street to Garner Station Boulevard and the Walmart Supercenter on Rupert Road. Further in the future, a western BRT line will connect downtown Raleigh with downtown Cary via Western Boulevard, Southeast Maynard Road and East Chatham Street.
The northern lines will come last and pose the most options. City planners have identified six possible routes between downtown and Midtown, involving Wake Forest, Six Forks and New Hope Church roads, Capital Boulevard, St. Albans Drive and Atlantic Avenue.
The planners have also come up with three options for getting to Triangle Town Center, involving Capital Boulevard, Atlantic Avenue and New Hope Church Road. A fourth option would take the BRT line up Louisburg Road to end at the Wake Tech Community College campus just north of Interstate 540.
The public can learn more about the options at three public meetings:
▪ Nov. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sertoma Arts Center, 1400 West Millbrook Road.
▪ Nov. 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Campbell Lodge at Durant Nature Preserve, 3237 Spottswood St.
▪ Dec. 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Raleigh Union Station, 510 West Martin St. downtown.
For more information about the northern corridor of Wake BRT, go to raleighnc.gov/transportation/services/wake-brt-northern. The city says it will summarize what it hears from the public and pare down the options by next summer.