RTA Transit Innovations Series 

The Regional Transportation Alliance held the RTA Transit Innovations Series to support and advance discussions on transit in Wake County during late 2013 and early 2014.

The seven sessions included in-person and videoconference presentations from experts on bus rapid transit and related innovations and research including express lanes, freeway caps, land use, innovative circulators including personal rapid transit and gondolas, and periodic comparisons with various rail transit options such as commuter rail, streetcars, and light rail. There was no cost to attend any of the events in the RTA Transit Innovations Series.

With the exploration of new and emerging transit innovations, the development of a bus rapid transit-based alternative(s) as a basis for comparison with the current Wake County transit plan, and the clarification and prioritization of goals and objectives, our community can make an informed decision on our enhanced regional transit future in Wake County.

Summary of events

Session 1:  November 20, 2013 — Transit and Express Lanes
Session 2:  January 8, 2014 — Land Use and Tradeoffs
Session 3:  January 30, 2014 — Urban Bus Rapid Transit
Session 4:  February 26, 2014 — Busways and System Approaches
Session 5:  March 21, 2014 — Arterial Treatments to Keep Transit Moving
Session 6: April 16, 2014 — Circulator Innovations and Addressing the Last Mile Problem for Transit
Session 7:  May 21, 2014  — Bus Rapid Transit, Economic Development, Urban Design and Walkability

Session details

Session 1: Express Lanes and Transit  
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest speakers:

  • 495 Express Lanes and transit
    – Larry Cloyed, Express Lanes Coordinator, Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Tampa Bay Bus Toll Lanes concept
    – Joe Waggoner, CEO, Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority

Session 2: Research on Land Use and Tradeoffs

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


  • David Levinson, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
    –  Editor of the Journal of Transport and Land Use and Director of the NEXUS research group
  • Stephanie Lotshaw, Manager, U.S. and Africa, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
    –  Author of More Development for your Transit Dollar 

Session 3: Urban Bus Rapid Transit

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Guest speakers:

  • Joe Calabrese, CEO and general manager, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (abbrev. slide deck)
  • Joe Iacobucci, director of transit, Sam Schwartz Engineering, former manager, Strategic Planning and Policy, Chicago Transit Authority

Download the full presentation

Session 4: Busways and System Approaches

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guest speakers:

  • Wendy Stern, Assistant General Manager, Port Authority of Allegheny County
  • Rick Kiegel, Project Manager, Corridor Cities Transitway

Videoconference speakers appearing via Cisco WebEx:

  • Keith Dove, Transportation and Regulation Manager, Luton Borough Council, England
  • Dave Perry, Assistant Project Manager, Luton-Dunstable Busway, Luton Borough Council, England
  • Dave Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Transport, Luton Borough Council, England

Session 5: Arterial Treatments to Keep Transit Moving
Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest speakers:

  • Joe Hummer, Ph.D., PE, Department Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University
  • Michael Brown, PE, AICP, Transportation Engineer, Professional Planner, MetroAnalytics, Bountiful, Utah

Session 6: Circulator Innovations and the Last Mile 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest speakers:

  • Seth Hollar, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • Marshall Brain, Director of Engineering Entrepreneurs Program,  North Carolina State University

Videoconference speaker appearing via Cisco WebEx:

  • Kyle Griffith, Vice President, Great Western Pacific, Inc. and Project Director, Seattle Great Wheel and proposed Seattle Union Street Gondola

Session 7: BRT, Economic Development, Walkability, and Urban Design
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Videoconference speakers appearing via Cisco WebEx:

  • Reid Ewing, University of Utah
  • Arthur Nelson, University of Utah