Media mentions by topic:

 


RDU Air Service – international flights / RTA Air Service Advancement Project (ASAP)

Operation China: Details inside RDU’s push for another international flight 
(Triangle Business Journal – January 13, 2017)  Just eight months after the celebrated debut of Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s nonstop Paris flight, airport executives say they’re already planning the next international destination: China.  For the RDU to Paris flight, which debuted last year through Delta Air Lines, a community financing effort was launched– one that included advertising incentives. To lure that flight, the Air Service Advancement Project (ASAP), an initiative organized by the Regional Transportation Alliance, set out to match RDU Airport Authority’s already-committed $500,000. Much of that encompassed in-kind contributions such as event sponsorships to help advertise the route.

Less than a year after the flight’s debut, Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, which oversees ASAP, says the group’s marketing bank has nearly been depleted promoting RDU’s trans-Atlantic flights to Paris and London.

“To make a private sector marketing push for a China (or other Asia flight) the regional business community would need to replenish to ASAP fund,” he said Wednesday. “That can happen, but it has not been as urgent of a focus area versus other priorities like funding and passing the transit campaign in Wake County this fall.”

But even without a China flight, RDU is already ahead when it comes to international service, officials say. “[Being] the only non-hub market in America with two daily nonstop trans-Atlantic flights speaks volumes about how we support new international offerings,” Milazzo said.

Delta’s RDU-Paris flight set for upgrade
(Triangle Business Journal – Sept. 28, 2016) 
Delta Air Lines is doubling down on its direct flight to Paris out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, upgrading the plane used in the route to a Boeing 767. Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, says the upgrade is validation that the Triangle’s rally to secure the flight is paying off. “We as an organization are going to continue to do what we can to market, in partnership with RDU, both flights (including RDU to London) to make sure our international air service remains strong,”

Execs look to focus marketing RDU-Paris flight to Parisians 
(Triangle Business Journal – June 9, 2016) A month after Delta’s inaugural Raleigh-Durham International Airport service to Paris left the tarmac, community leaders are planning a marketing pivot to attract Parisian interest in the Triangle…Leading those community-funded marketing efforts has been the Air Service Advancement Project, an initiative organized by the Regional Transportation Alliance and led by its executive director, Joe Milazzo.

Nonstop Service from RDU to Paris to Bring Positive Economic Impact
(Wake County Economic Development – May 12, 2016) “Today’s flight to Paris represents a watershed moment for our region in terms of economic development, regional cooperation, and global prominence. This afternoon we become the only non-hub market in the United States with two daily nonstop transatlantic flights. We did so via the leadership of Raleigh-Durham International Airport professional staff and board members working in concert with the public and private sectors to elevate awareness and mitigate risk. Without this cooperation, there would be no flight; with this strong partnership, RDU has doubled the number of connections to European gateways which will increase our attractiveness for new and expanding companies,” said Joe Milazzo II, PE, Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition.

As marketing effort for RDU-Paris flight takes off, public, private dollars deployed
(Triangle Business Journal – March 16, 2016) As Delta Airlines nears the debut of what will be Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s second trans-Atlantic flight, business players, both public and private, are stepping up to ensure its success.

“The Air Service Advancement Project, an initiative organized by the Regional Transportation Alliance, aims to create a $500,000 regional investment fund to supplement RDU Airport Authority’s already-committed $500,000. One-hundred percent of the initiative’s cash commitments are going toward outdoor advertising – about $20,000 so far, says Milazzo.”

Transportation Year in Review:  RDU-Paris flight hinges on profitability
(Triangle Business Journal – December 18, 2015)  “The news may have become official in September, but for the scores of business executives working with the Regional Transportation Alliance and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport — this was hardly a slam-dunk deal. Finally, Delta Air Lines agreed to add a nonstop flight to Paris from RDU. The flight launch is set for May 12 next year. According to Delta executives who worked with Triangle representatives, the Paris flight gives RDU passengers access to an additional 51 international destinations….”

“To local businesses who have long clamored for another direct European flight, RDU officials will now hope that those same executives and their staff actually use the flight when doing business in Europe. Leisure travelers and the connecting passengers can backfill the empty seats to create an economically robust flight, which is good for Delta and good for the Triangle community.”

RDU rates high in J.D. Power traveler satisfaction survey
(News & Observer – December 16, 2015) “RDU is the front door for our entire region, in a way that no other public facility is,” said Joe Milazzo II, who directs the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that lobbies for transportation improvements. “To have that sort of recognition at the national level speaks well to what we’re trying to accomplish for our market.”

From the President: Community Support Propels Banner Year
(RDU Connect) “Santa came early this year at RDU, delivering new air service to destinations on our wish list – Paris, Salt Lake City and Seattle – and a rise in passenger counts after several flat years. Most gratifying of the gifts we received in 2015 was a groundswell of community support for two key initiatives.

“A true public-private partnership of business, government and community partners and the Regional Transportation Alliance helped the Airport Authority provide a $2.2 million, start-up risk mitigation package, as well as marketing support, for our Paris flight.” 

Months after RDU-Paris announcement, former Lenovo exec touts RDU-Beijing possibilities
(Triangle Business Journal – December 4, 2015) “Three months after a successful rally for the Raleigh-Durham International Airport flight to Paris, one of the Triangle’s loudest transportation voices is pushing for an even longer route: RDU to Beijing. Tom Looney, RTA regional transit chair, business recruiter of the new Economic Development Public-Private Partnership and former general manager of Lenovo, says he’d like to see it happen in 2017. Lenovo, which has more than 3,000 employees in the Triangle, could be for a hypothetical Beijing flight what GlaxoSmithKline was to the London flight….  Looney admits we may not be at the top of Beijing’s wish list. “But I think Raleigh can be on it,” he says. “I’d say it’s a long shot, but it’s like anything. If you don’t buy a ticket, or you’re not in the game, you can’t win.”

Now that RDU-Paris flight is official, community leaders talk about how to pay for it
(Triangle Business Journal – November 24, 2015)  “Now that Delta’s nonstop flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Paris has been secured, behind-the-scenes players – both public and private – are finalizing how they’ll finance the takeoff, projected for May 2016. The chamber-backed Regional Transportation Alliance, too, is putting dollars to work, efforting a $500,000 marketing fund to support the flight. Of that, more than $250,000 has been pledged, says RTA Executive Director Joe Milazzo. Most of it is in in-kind services, but more than $75,000 is in cash pledges. “We’re going to continue to push and make sure this flight is going to be successful,” he says.

From the President:  Community Support Yields Paris Flight 
(RDU Connect blog – October 15, 2015)  “On May 12, 2016, Delta Air Lines will launch daily nonstop service to Paris’ Charles-DeGaulle International Airport. With this addition, RDU’s passengers will have access to two daily, transatlantic flights….  Our community stepped forward to secure this new service. A public and private sector partnership with the Authority resulted in a $2.2 million, start-up risk mitigation package in support of the service. Additionally, marketing support by the 540 Transportation Alliance and the Authority was committed to promote this new international gateway.”

New Seattle flight could give RDU leverage in push for more international service
(Triangle Business Journal – April 28, 2015)  “This is another piece in the puzzle toward getting another international flight,” says Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance… “This shows that an airline is willing to dedicate an aircraft for a great amount of time and distance because the Triangle is an attractive market,” Milazzo says.

Why RDU’s next international flight probably won’t be American Airlines

(Triangle Business Journal – April 9, 2015)  Airport officials as well as activists from the Regional Transportation Alliance agree that the new international flight is unlikely to be announced in the immediate future, as carriers have to plan years in advance. The Regional Transportation Alliance has created a fund to match the $500,000 already pledged by the Airport Authority to entice a new flight.

Triangle-based companies: We need multiple international flights at RDU
(Triangle Business Journal – April 8, 2015)  Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, which has been actively soliciting business leaders to campaign for a new flight. Many companies, including Cisco, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, Red Hat and Duke University have already contributed thousands of dollars toward a regional investment fund aimed at enticing another international flight.

RTA exec gives update on $500k RDU international flight enticement fund

(Triangle Business Journal – April 7, 2015)  Joe Milazzo, executive director for the Regional Transportation Alliance, says his organization is almost halfway to the $500,000 goal to bring another international flight to RDU. “Let’s call it an encouragement package,” he says, referring to the pledges, both in cash and services local businesses have already ponied up for the effort.

RDU Lobbies For Another Non-Stop International Flight
  (listen)
(WUNC – March 31, 2015)  “In many ways the domestic service is coming along pretty well.  Five or six years ago, how many West Coast flights did we have? None,” said Milazzo.  “Now we have multiple to San Francisco, we’ve got multiple to Los Angeles.  So where should our focus be, international is the place to go.” The Regional Transportation Alliance has partnered with RDU and the business community to raise a half million dollars to promote and recruit international non-stop service. Milazzo says they’re half way there.

RDU Trying to Attract New International Flights

(North Carolina News Network – March 6, 2015)  This Tuesday, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Transportation Alliance are holding a meeting with industry experts to examine the possibility of bringing in more international flights to RDU. “They will speak to trends and improvements and what communities have to do to be successful in that space,” he says. “Then we’re going to have RDU Airport Authority CEO Michael Landguth discuss how the airport and the business community are working together.”

Experts handicap RDU Airport’s chances of landing new international flights

(Triangle Business Journal – March 10, 2015)  Carriers want more international flights. Raleigh-Durham International Airport executives want more international flights. So why isn’t it happening? It was the topic of a lengthy discussion at a Regional Transportation Alliance-sponsored forum Tuesday morning at the Umstead Hotel and Spa Tuesday.

A4A chief economist to address National Airline Policy at N.C. event

(Airlines for America Smartbrief – February 26, 2015)  The vibrant Research Triangle region will serve as backdrop for a conversation with both regional and national implications. A4A Chief Economist John Heimlich and MIT research scientist Dr. Peter Belobaba will discuss airline industry issues and the economics of air transportation. Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) CEO Michael Landguth will also offer remarks. Event is presented by the Regional Transportation Alliance business leadership program of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; sponsors include American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

Global Gateway: Lack of Foreign Flights May Be Thwarting Economic Development in the Triangle (pdf)
(Triangle Business Journal – January 9, 2015)  The RTA has created the Air Service Advancement Project (ASAP), which is a three-year $500,000 commitment toward marketing international air service, meant to “mobilize, highlight and focus business support for the recruitment and promotion of nonstop service to international gateways.”  Joe Milazzo, executive director of the RTA, says local companies are interested in growing global reach, attracting new talent and increasing the headcounts of foreign students at local universities who may be the next generation of their workforces.

Raleigh-Durham Partners To Promote International Service

(Aviation News Today – Dec. 15, 2014)  The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and the Regional Transportation Alliance announced a new joint initiative to support the recruitment of international air service. “On behalf of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, I would like to thank the business community for coming together to form this initiative,” said Michael Landguth, A.A.E., airport authority president and CEO. “This program sends a strong message to airlines that our business community is engaged in air service recruitment and is committed to strengthening nonstop international service from RDU.”

Regional Transportation Alliance pledges matching fund for new RDU international flight
(Triangle Business Journal – Dec. 11, 2014)  The Regional Transportation Alliance announced a fund-matching campaign to help Raleigh-Durham International Airport secure a new trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.

Triangle businesses chip in to recruit Paris or Frankfurt RDU flight
(News & Observer – Dec. 11, 2014)  The Regional Transportation Alliance announced a fund-matching campaign to help Raleigh-Durham International Airport secure a new trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.

Business group pledges $500K to help RDU land international flight

(WRAL – Dec. 11, 2014)  The Regional Transportation Alliance announced a fund-matching campaign to help Raleigh-Durham International Airport secure a new trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.


RDU Air Service – domestic flights

RDU rates high in J.D. Power traveler satisfaction survey
(News & Observer – December 17, 2015)  “It’s always nice to hear from your customers about how they’re rating your facility and their customer experience,” [RDU Airport president and CEO Michael] Landguth said. “We want to continue to focus on where we can improve that experience.”

“RDU is the front door for our entire region, in a way that no other public facility is,” said Joe Milazzo II, who directs the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that lobbies for transportation improvements. “To have that sort of recognition at the national level speaks well to what we’re trying to accomplish for our market.”

Report: RDU flights down 7 percent since 2011
(WRAL – July 23, 2015) “While we have seen consolidation and optimization of capacity, the introduction of new carriers at RDU, including Alaska Airlines and Allegiant, and the expansion of destinations from several others is a strong indication of the confidence airlines have in our region’s future,” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition.

Raleigh-Durham Airport gains a mix of domestic routes in 2015 while charting solid passenger growth
(CAPA Centre for Aviation – June 1, 2015)  In his interview with WUNC.org Mr Milazzo highlighted a study conducted by the state of North Carolina showing that adding service from RDU to Paris or Frankfurt would generate roughly USD1.4 billion in economic impact over 25 years.

 


Freeways: I-495 approval

Governor McCrory Announces Future Interstate Designation
(NC office of the Governor – Dec. 12, 2013) Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announced today that U.S. 64 between I-440 and I-95 near Rocky Mount has been added to the future Interstate Highway System.  Governor McCrory and Secretary Tata made the announcement at the RTA’s 12th Annual Meeting in Cary.

US 64 will become Interstate 495 between Raleigh and Rocky Mount

(News & Observer – Dec. 12, 2013)  The change for U.S. 64 was sought by the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group associated with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce that lobbies for transportation improvements.

I-495 to link Raleigh, Rocky Mount

(WRAL – Dec. 12, 2013)  The I-495 designation has received support from the RTA and has been endorsed by several municipalities along the route.

I-495 may one day connect eastern Wake to southeastern VA

(News & Observer – July 1, 2014)  The Wendell Economic Development Committee heard from Joe Milazzo, the executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance who told residents that although it could take decades, the future I-495 could become a key route that connects the Triangle to other economic hubs, like southeastern Virginia.


Freeways: Interstate 87/495 Initiative

I-87? It’s a plan for down the road
(The Virginian-Pilot Editorial – June 23, 2016)  The prospect of a high-speed approach from the south should please residents in both places and between them. It’s also important not to stop there… An I-87 is a worthy target for study and consideration. In the meantime, and for its future, South Hampton Roads needs another direct connection to I-95 and points west.

Future interstate named I-87
(Rocky Mount Telegram – June 19, 2016) Joe Milazzo, executive director for Regional Transportation Alliance, said the I-87 authorization conveys to companies that the state has a plan to improve connections between two major metro areas with bipartisan support at all levels of government. “It will provide every county along the corridor east of Nash County with its first direct access to the interstate system,” Milazzo said. “This is essential for maximizing economic growth opportunities for several of our economically distressed counties in Northeastern North Carolina.”

Project to connect Raleigh and Hampton Roads gets I-87 designation
(WTKR – June 10, 2016) North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory commented on the news, which also included a designation of I-42 for the U.S. 70 corridor…“They bring a much-needed interstate corridor to the Hampton Roads area, stronger connections between our important military bases, and enhance economic development through faster shipment of freight for our ports and Global TransPark.” The Regional Transportation Alliance in Raleigh has advocated for the project.

New $1 billion, 213-mile interstate planned to connect Norfolk and Raleigh
(The Virginian-Pilot – June 9, 2016) The road, to be called Interstate 87…has the support of elected officials, business leaders and agencies in Virginia and North Carolina, including both highway departments, chambers of commerce and all four senators. “This is one of those things whose time has long since come,” said Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business coalition in Raleigh.

North Carolina gets designations for 2 more interstates
(WRAL – May 26, 2016) “It makes it easier in terms of economic development. When people are looking for a place to locate or expand a business, they ask, ‘Does it have interstate access?'” said Joe Milazzo II, Regional Transportation Alliance executive. “We’ll have counties that will now have that, and eastern North Carolina will get their first interstate to Hampton roads.”

Four Hampton Roads projects that will impact regional economic development
(Pilot Online – The Hampton Roads Business Journal – April 1, 2016) As Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business leadership group from Raleigh, said: “A future interstate designation between Raleigh and Hampton Roads will provide an economic lifeline … by linking urban, suburban, and rural job centers and communities together while providing several counties their first direct access to the interstate system.”

Proposed Raleigh-Norfolk corridor clears U.S. House
(Triangle Business Journal – November 13, 2015) Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, says “Adding a second one [two-digit freeway] would send a signal to travelers and future economic development opportunities that we’re a priority for the federal interstate system.”

Proposed Raleigh-Norfolk corridor clears U.S. House, heads to conference with Senate
(Triangle Business Journal- November 5, 2015) “This is a big deal for North Carolina, but especially Wake County. The Raleigh-Cary area is one of just a few large metro regions in the eastern U.S. that doesn’t have two two-digit interstates,” says Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition.

U.S bill to create Raleigh-Norfolk corridor gains support
(Triangle Business Journal- July 10, 2015) The entire North Carolina delegation has now offered their support for the bill to designate the entire corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk as a future interstate. Joe Milazzo II, RTA Executive Director, says connecting the two metropolitan job centers would “provide an economic lifeline for northeastern North Carolina and afford several counties their first direct access to the interstate system.”

I-495 corridor could become economic lifeline for NC, Va. 
(WRAL – June 2, 2015)  “This corridor would tie those two metro economic engines together,” said Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business organization. “This would be an economic lifeline to them. It wouldn’t make them prosperous, but would give them an opportunity for prosperity to occur.” “It would certainly (be) a hugely significant impact for the leisure market, but also for group business, sports, meetings and conventions,” said Dennis Edwards, president of the Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Northeastern Interstate?
(Roanoke-Chowan News Herald – May 5, 2015)  The RTA has requested that the state Department of Transportation apply to reserve an Interstate number for the corridor between Raleigh and the Hampton Roads region of Virginia via Rocky Mount and Elizabeth City, consistent with the existing Federal High Priority Corridor 13 from Raleigh to Norfolk.

Butterfield Reintroduces Highway Bill for Eastern North Carolina with Support of NC Delegation Members
(Office of Congressman Butterfield – May 1, 2015) The entire length of the U.S. highway 64 freeway between Raleigh and Interstate 95 was designated as a future interstate (I-495) in 2013 and, according to the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), half of the entire future I-44 corridor is already built to freeway standards. Many local governmental entities, chambers of commerce, and regional transportation associations in North Carolina and Virginia are also supportive of this designation.

Regional Leaders Pursue New Interstate Highway for Eastern NC

(NC East Alliance – Williamston, NC – April 28, 2015)  Joe Milazzo II, PE, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance business leadership group from Raleigh also attended the meeting. “A future Interstate designation between Raleigh and Hampton Roads will provide an economic lifeline for northeastern North Carolina by linking urban, suburban, and rural job centers and communities together while providing several counties their first direct access to the Interstate system.” (link for maps)

Bill designates 2 highways between Raleigh and Norfolk as a “future interstate”

(ABC13 Norfolk, Va – Aug. 11, 2014)  U.S. Senator Kay Hagan introduced a bill Thursday to designate two North Carolina highways as a ‘future interstate’ from Raleigh to Norfolk. According to the Regional Transportation Alliance, half of the route already meets federal freeway standards, and last year a portion of U.S. Highway 64 between Raleigh and Interstate 95 was designated as a ‘future interstate.’

Bills would designate parts of U.S. 17, 64 as future interstates

(Sun Journal New Bern – Aug. 10, 2014)  A move to designate two North Carolina roadways as future interstate highways is now included in bills in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Hagan Introduces Highway Bill for Eastern North Carolina

(Jacksonville Daily News – Aug. 7, 2014)
 
Bills being considered in Congress that would provide direct route from Hampton Roads to Raleigh

(News Channel 3 Hampton Roads. Va. – Aug. 11, 2014)


Freeways: I-40 / Fortify

Improving Fortify Travel Times a Collaborative Effort
(NCDOT – November 20, 2015) “The combined efforts – working with the media, employers, the Regional Transportation Alliance and the public, appears to have paid off so far,” State Traffic Engineer Kevin Lacy said. “Based upon initial data, it appears that a significant number of people have changed the time of day they travel through this section of I-40, or they are avoiding the work zone all together.”

Road Worrier: To avoid Raleigh’s southern BeltlineJam, look to the north
(News and Observer – June 1, 2015)  Joe Milazzo II, who directs the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that lobbies for transportation improvements, said, “My sense is that for most trucks, most of the time, that’s not going to work for them.” Milazzo figures that I-40 truckers are more likely to join the rest of us on I-440, the northern Beltline

These Triangle companies aim to make commuting easier during NCDOT construction project
(Triangle Business Journal – May 22, 2015)  “These companies deserve some real credit,” Milazzo says. “We’re lucky to have companies in our area that are focused on the broader community in addition to their employees’ satisfaction.” Milazzo says NCDOT is taking steps to ensure the Fortify project is as easy on drivers as possible. “But when there is a crash, as there inevitably will be, people are going to need to ‘fortify’ their patience,” he says.

Ahead of Fortify, Raleigh Businesses Offering Workers ‘Smarter Commuting’ Options
(NCDOT Press Release – May 22, 2015)  “A number of the region’s leading companies are committed to promoting travel options to improve their employees’ quality of life – including flexible work schedules, transit passes and telework from home,” said Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance.

Local leaders hope Fortify project puts spotlight on public transit options
(WRAL – May 15, 2015)   “The regional business community recognizes that maintaining the integrity of our freeway system is essential for regional mobility and commerce, and we are fully supportive of the Fortify project,” Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the business leadership group Regional Transportation Alliance, said.

Fortify I-40/I-440 rebuild could provide glimpse of long-term vision of public transit
(NCDOT Press Release – May 15, 2015)   “We applaud NCDOT, GoTriangle and other partners for creating travel options that will provide relief now during construction and point the way to our enhanced transit future as our market continues to grow,” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the business leadership group Regional Transportation Alliance.

NCDOT Urges Drivers to Plan for Fortify Impact on Summer Travel

(NCDOT Press Release – May 8, 2015)   NCDOT has been working with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Regional Transportation Alliance and GoTriangle, as well as others in the business community, to encourage drivers to use the Fortify project’s website to find out about public transit options, change their work schedules or use alternate routes.

Raleigh Beltline backups to get serious in coming weeks, NCDOT says

(News & Observer – May 7, 2015)   “Folks will have to get used to the fact that if you’re coming from Cary and going downtown, there’s not two exits there,” said Joe Milazzo II, director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that lobbies for road improvements. “There’s just one, so you’ve got to remember to get off at the first exit.”

Tata eases I-40/440 project’s pain

(Smithfield Herald, May 18, 2013)
NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata has called for the I-40/Fortify project to remain three lanes each way during construction.

Boosters see no humor in ‘Crawleigh’ moniker
(News and Observer – November 1, 2012) Part of the problem with Crawleigh is it didn’t tell anyone what construction is happening where, said Joe Milazzo, executive director of Regional Transportation Alliance. Something like “I-440 Rebuild” would describe and locate the pain while pointing to the future.


Freeways / I-40 Cary/Raleigh widening

6 lanes proposed for I-40 Stretch
(News and Observer – September 25, 2007) According to a rough estimate offered by Milazzo’s group and checked by DOT engineers, it would cost $28.7 million to add two more lanes on the wide, green median — making it six lanes, three each way.

Business group says half done is well begun
(News and Observer – November 2, 2004) “It has provided more highway capacity for that route, a reduction in peak-hour delays, and better access to The Streets at Southpoint and other development points in and around that area in southern Durham County,” says Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance.


Freeways: I-885 / Triangle Connector to I-85

Construction Begins on Durham’s East End Connector
(Triangle Business Journal, April 22, 2015) Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, says the East End Connector has been a top priority for the local business community for decades. The project was initially proposed in 1959. “This is a big deal for the Durham community and the greater Triangle,” Milazzo says. “Improving access to downtown Durham while also alleviating traffic will mean a lot in terms of commerce.”

East End Connector gets green light
(News and Observer – July 30, 2010) The state Department of Transportation expects to start construction in 2013-14 on Durham’s East End Connector, one of North Carolina’s longest-delayed road projects.

East End Connector gets a regional branding push
(News and Observer – December 11, 2009)  “It will allow the Triangle region as a whole – Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park – to connect to Interstate 85,” Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, said.

DOT ranks East End Connector as top project
(The Herald Sun – July 30, 2010) The proposed East End Connector, a link between the Durham Freeway and U.S. 70, offers high enough benefits and low enough costs that it merits full funding and a place on the N.C. Department of Transportation’s short-term construction schedule, state engineers say.

Proposed East End Connector on track
(The Herald Sun – January 15, 2010) They also pointed out that the project now enjoys regional support. Thanks to help from the Regional Transportation Alliance and its executive director, Joe Milazzo, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker has gotten behind the project. Thanks to help from the Regional Transportation Alliance and its executive director, Joe Milazzo, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker has gotten behind the project.


Freeways: On-ramp signals for congestion relief

Ramp metering signals coming to I-540
(Triangle Business Journal – Dec. 16, 2014)  Morning commutes on Interstate 540 may soon flow better through Raleigh, with the upcoming installation of ramp metering signals. Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, says these ramp signals will “pulse or pause” the flow of cars from the ramp onto the freeway by changing from red to green every few moments during peak travel hours.

Ramp meters could help freeway traffic flow
(News and Observer – April 16, 2013) When travel lanes are clogged, the meters trigger a traffic signal on the on-ramp – changing it from green to red for a second or two at a time – to spread out the flow of cars entering the freeway.


Freeways: Accelerate 540, existing Triangle Expressway

Why a new 540 interchange is a ‘big deal’ for Triangle commutes
(Triangle Business Journal – April 3, 2017) A just-opened interchange gives drivers on Holly Springs’ Veridea Parkway a direct link to the Triangle Expressway – a connection officials hope can cut down on commute times. Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition, says “anytime you can improve accessibility to the most advanced toll road in America it is a big deal.” “With a new interchange providing improved access to the 70-MPH Triangle Expressway, thousands of travelers will be able to more directly access their destinations in fast-growing southwestern Wake County via 540,” he says.

“Officials: What we know about the self-driving vehicle testing program coming to the Triangle Expressway”
(Triangle Business Journal – January 23, 2017)

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday it has selected the N.C. Turnpike Authority as one of 10 test locations for autonomous vehicle technology. And N.C. Department of Transportation officials are excited about what the project could mean for the North Carolina’s transportation future.

The first phase cited in NCDOT’s proposal is scheduling a construction contract award in 2018. Over the past several weeks, that project timeline has changed, however, pushing the next extension to 2020.

It’s a discrepancy that’s not lost on Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance. In addition to partnering with NCDOT on the proposal, Milazzo’s group is campaigning for the acceleration of that 540 project timeline. He calls construction of the southern extension of that highway “priority one” for his group.

The pilot program is another point to bolster the argument. “We are hopeful that that project will be accelerated,” he says.

Regardless of the Complete 540 timeline, autonomous technology has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, Milazzo says.

“Clearly, with autonomous vehicles, there’s so much we don’t know, but the beauty of this application and the beauty of the Turnpike being selected is – we’re going to be at the front of that,” he says.

In the project proposal, several groups are highlighted as partners, including RTA and research groups, such as N.C. State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education.

Inside the state’s massive $2.2B ‘Complete 540’ project 
(Triangle Business Journal – January 20, 2017) 

Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, has outlined the Complete 540 project as his group’s “priority one,” a designation previously held by efforts such as the East End Connector and the Wake Transit Referendum.

“Nothing is more important right now,” he says, calling completion of the 540 project – at least through its intersection with I-40 in southeastern Wake County – crucial to easing traffic congestion that’s set to increase as the Triangle grows.

Currently, it’s scheduled to start moving forward in 2020. Milazzo, through an aggressive public awareness campaign, hopes to accelerate that timeline by two years.

Triangle Expressway toll fees set to increase in January
(Triangle Business Journal – December 22, 2016)

Drivers will soon be paying more for a trip down the Triangle Expressway – but in return, new interchanges aim to make Triangle commutes even easier. One of two new interchanges will be located at Old Holly Springs-Apex Road early next year. The other is planned for Morrisville Parkway in 2019.

Those additions will make an already “critical” highway an even bigger deal to the Triangle and the state, says Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance. The road was designed to reduce traffic congestion coming in and out of Research Triangle Park. And the math is working, says Milazzo.

Milazzo calls the Triangle Expressway the “largest infrastructure project in state history,” and among North Carolina’s biggest transportation success stories. “It’s the first modern toll road in the state,” he says. “It is an essential connector to several of the fastest growing communities in our region.”

NC Turnpike Authority video
(International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) President’s Award recognition, September 2016) “Continued community partnerships are going to be increasingly important as our market grows, as areas become more congested. The Turnpike is not the solution to all the problems but it needs to be part of the conversation when we look at options, particularly in times with limited transportation funds.” – Joe Milazzo II, PE, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance.

Environmentalists criticize, residents cheer NCDOT’s Orange Route pick for 540 Outer Loop
(News and Observer – Feb. 3, 2016)  The state Department of Transportation picked the so-called Orange Route as its preferred path for the 540 Outer Loop across southern Wake County. The leader of a business group that supports the 540 Outer Loop project praised DOT’s announcement Wednesday and said he believed the road would be a time saver for many drivers. “I would think if you were anywhere near the center of that corridor, the time savings would be remarkable…” said Joe Milazzo II of the Regional Transportation Alliance.

Effort to complete 540 Outer Loop moves one step closer to fruition, NCDOT says
(Triangle Business Journal – November 3, 2015) “This is a project that will affect the region’s future for the next 10, 20 or 30 years. A few extra months are not a big deal if it ensures the project is successful on the backend,” says Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition.

Lilac Route for loop could run into a legal roadblock
(News and Observer – May 23, 2012) In fact, DOT planners told the Corps of Engineers in an email Tuesday that they have begun assessing the Lilac Route’s impact on streams, wetlands and residences. Early indicators are that it would reduce the Orange Route’s wetlands impacts by at least 30 percent, Milazzo said.

Reopen study of TriEx Red Route or risk funding
(News and Observer – April 10, 2012) The Federal Highway Administration has indicated that funding for the southeastern stretch of the Triangle Expressway could be in jeopardy unless the widely reviled Red Route gets a closer look.  “We’re hoping to find a solution that works for everyone, because we’ve got to get this road built,” Joe Milazzo, executive director for the Regional Transportation Alliance, said.

Turnpikes would get us moving again
(News and Observer – April 2, 2006) The Regional Transportation Alliance — the regional business leadership group that focuses on relieving traffic congestion and enhancing mobility — supports the accelerated completion of Interstate 540 and Triangle Parkway.


Freeways: Traffic

Global Traffic Rankings Show NC Cities Among The Most Congested in World
(Time Warner Cable News – February 23, 2017) Regional Transportation Alliance’s Joe Milazzo says the traffic solutions are coming but it will take some time to see them realized. “It’s a challenge to do it, but the market has done well up to this point. We just need to keep our focus.”

How traffic in Raleigh, Durham compares to N.C., global cities
(Triangle Business Journal – February 22, 2017) Drivers in Raleigh and Durham spent 6 percent and 4 percent of their driving time, respectively, stuck in traffic last year, according to mobile technology firm INRIX. But the numbers could be better, says Joe Milazzo, executive director of Raleigh-based Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition. Infrastructure investments could help improve commute times, he says. He points to the Complete 540 Project in southern Wake County and widening Interstate 40 near Garner.


Freeways: Speed Limits

60 mph legal on Wade extension
(News and Observer – February 16, 2012) After a study confirmed that most drivers go 65 mph – safely – on the busy Wade Avenue Extension in West Raleigh, the state Department of Transportation raised the speed limit there from 55 mph to 60 mph.  “We’re asking the question,” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance. “Would this more accurately reflect the way people travel? Would they be able to do it safely?”

540 Outer Loop will get faster
(News and Observer – February 9, 2013) The Regional Transportation Alliance, a nonprofit business group that lobbies for road and transit improvements, had asked DOT to allow the higher speed on 540 and other Triangle-area freeways.


Freeways: Express Lanes

NCDOT study looks at possibility of express lanes on I-40
(WNCN – April 29, 2016)  “High-growth area, people want to be here, express lanes are a concept that will allow us to create options, provide choices for travelers, particularly during rush hour periods,” said Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance. Milazzo’s group has been studying express lanes, hopeful they could be constructed throughout the region to ease the burden on drivers.

Are we ready to pay price for life in fast lane
(News and Observer – November 27, 2012) 
“We simply want to have a conversation about what this option looks like,” Milazzo said. “The area’s going to add a million people over the next 25 years, and we’ve got to make sure we’re going to have some reliable travel options.”


Transit: Wake County

Raleigh’s advice to Nashville: Vet your transit plan first, then take it to voters
(Nashville, TN Business Journal, December 9, 2016, page 11; headline from online article December 7, 2016)  “I was pleased to see the level of support, because like Nashville, we have a community that doesn’t use transit too much, but they realized we needed options.” – Joe Milazzo, executive director of Raleigh, North Carolina’s Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition, on the city’s successful transit initiative.

Wake transportation plan to triple bus service in 4 years
(WNCN – Nov. 15, 2016) Joe Milazzo with the Regional Transportation Alliance says after four years the bus service will triple in Wake County. “In terms of jobs in this county, within 10 years you’re going to have 40 percent of every job in county not just on the bus line, but on a rapid transit line with service every 15 minutes or better all day. That’s an incredible level of service and availability for our community,” he said. Those in the business community say the transportation plan is helping guide their futures as well. “Having reliable transportation that’s available across the county for our associates to come downtown when they need it and where they need it is going to be huge for us,” said Steven Goldsmith with Red Hat. And, some corporations are using the plan as a recruiting tactic. “We have employees who live in Durham, who live in Chapel Hill who are commuting all the time. And so while the bus piece of it is a really important short-term, the increased commuter rail, the proximity to Union Station and the proximity to Moore Square with continued bus growth is going to be really important to us as a region,” said Ashton Smith with Citrix.

Officials look at future of transportation in the Triangle
(WNCN – Oct. 19, 2016) The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) teamed up with the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) to explore and compare ways to improve transportation in the Triangle.  “Transportation is essential for our community’s future as we grow, and making sure we bring together the best minds and the best innovations is not just a good idea, it’s essential for our success,” said Joe Milazzo, RTA’s executive director. Milazzo believes one early way to tackle these anticipated problems is a November ballot measure. The Wake Transit Plan is proposing a half-cent sales tax hike to bring new buses and routes, as well as other services.

Road Worrier: Wake transit plan combines urban ridership, rural coverage
(News & Observer – Dec. 7, 2015) The Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that sometimes influences state and Triangle transportation priorities, frowned on light rail and lobbied hard for the little-known alternative of bus rapid transit.

Joe Milazzo with business leadership group RTA talks about the new Wake Transit process
(WPTF 680 AM – Dec. 5, 2014)  Given the growth we’re having, we’ve got to have not just good transit and good travel options, but a good conversation among the community about what those options would look like. The key element for us is to be smart about what we do, in making appropriate, scalable investments in infrastucture. More people would use it today if we had better service and better network connections.

Wake leaders break the ice on transit talk

(News & Observer – Feb. 27, 2014)   [There is] new talk about bus rapid transit – fostered by the visiting experts in November and by the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that advocates for road and other transportation improvements.

Transit plan to face critique
(News and Observer – November 11, 2013) The Regional Transportation Alliance, a business group that lobbies for transportation improvements, recently criticized the plan and called for Wake to consider investing instead in bus rapid transit – a hybrid breed of transportation that is gaining ground in U.S. cities as less expensive and more flexible than rail, but faster and more enjoyable than regular buses.

Transit advocates worried about bus talks
(News and Observer – November 5, 2013) The Regional Transportation Alliance called for a new study of bus rapid transit – a hybrid breed of rubber-tire transportation that is less expensive and more flexible than light rail, but faster and more comfortable than regular bus service.

Wake transit plan – which never got first look from commissioners – needs ‘second look,’ Triangle Transit chair says
(News & Observer – Nov. 5, 2013)   Triangle Transit chair notes that draft transit plan needs a second look. Regional Transportation Alliance has called for a new study of bus rapid transit.

Get Plan Rolling
(News and Observer – October 22, 2013) The Regional Transportation Alliance now suggests bus rapid transit be considered as part of the proposed transit plan of doubled bus service and passenger rail.

Critique is another blow for transit plan
(News and Observer – October 15, 2013) The Regional Transportation Alliance has come out in favor of bus rapid transit, a hybrid that is gaining ground in U.S. cities as less expensive and more flexible than street cars and light rail – but faster and more enjoyable than regular buses.

Business group wants to reconsider rail transit
(Herald Sun – Sep. 23, 2013)  A key business group has urged officials in Wake County to focus transit planning on bus systems rather than on the sort of rail links neighboring Durham and Orange counties want to build. The Regional Transportation Alliance floated its support for a move to “bus rapid transit” via a position paper that’s been circulating among local leaders since August.


Transit: Durham and Orange counties

How Orange, Durham counties plan to tackle light rail funding gap
(Triangle Business Journal – December 2, 2016) “Our growing region requires a high-capacity, robust regional transit connection between Durham and Chapel Hill, ” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance.

Most still support transit sales tax
(News and Observer – March 20, 2011) “While support for the tax has gone down slightly in both Orange and Wake, the support for a sales tax remains above 50 percent in all counties,” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance.

Triangle rail plans chug on
(News and Observer – March 23, 2010) Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the nonprofit Regional Transportation Alliance, will release three-county poll results he says are “not celebratory, but they are promising” for transit supporters.

Transit Tax Finds Backing
(News and Observer – March 25, 2009) Triangle voters are leaning in favor of a proposed local sales tax increase to pay for bus and rail transit improvements, according to a poll commissioned by a pro-transit business group. Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, said the results show “a promising level of initial support, given the current focus on the economy.”


Transit: Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS)

Bus on Shoulder in the Triangle – 1st road test complete!
(GoTriangle Blog- January 30, 2012) Triangle Transit, the Regional Transportation Alliance and the NC Department of Transportation recently did just that – ran a road test of a full size transit bus on shoulder. If the planets align for weary travelers, North Carolina’s first bus on shoulder demonstration project could be a reality by summer.

DOT tests idea: buses to ride I-40 shoulder
(News and Observer – January 25, 2012) The state Department of Transportation, Triangle Transit and several other members of an “I-40 Partnership” are going to try a “bus on shoulder system” on a section of Interstate 40 in southern Durham County. The I-40 Partnership is coordinated by the Regional Transportation Alliance, an association of Triangle chambers of commerce.


Streets and Intersections

Relief coming sooner for Crabtree Mall traffic in Raleigh
(Triangle Business Journal – June 30, 2017)  A plan to construct a completely new Interstate 440 interchange with U.S. 70 near Crabtree Valley Mall in Wake County is among a handful of projects being accelerated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition, said the city had identified the need years ago. The goal is providing “maximum accessibility,” and not just for shoppers hoping to quicken commutes to the mall. “This new interchange will essentially divide some of the traffic up a little bit, separating those simply accessing U.S. 70 and those wanting to access the mall,” Milazzo says.

NCDOT Weighs Plans For Ramps On U.S. 70
(WUNC – April 13, 2017) The North Carolina Department of Transportation is taking public comment on a plan to overhaul two busy intersections on U.S. 70. The Regional Transportation Alliance represents the business community on transportation issues. Executive Director Joe Milazzo said replacing the stoplight intersections with flowing ramp and bridge interchanges would allow vehicle and foot-traffic to run more smoothly.

NCDOT proposes 2 interchanges for U.S. 70 corridor
(Triangle Business Journal – April 10, 2017) State officials are in the early stages of embarking on an ambitious, $58 million corridor upgrade at U.S. 70 – one they hope means a safer, less congested road for future commutes. Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition, calls upgrading U.S. 70 between I-540 and Durham his group’s top freeway conversion priority.

Officials: Traffic relief for NC 54 ‘can’t come fast enough’
(WRAL – November 21, 2016)  Aaron Nelson, [president of RTA founding chamber] the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, is concerned that the backed-up traffic will have a negative impact on the local community. “N.C. 54 is critical not only to Chapel Hill but also to Durham and the region,” he said.

“This corridor needs to be successful for the market to be successful,” said Joe Milazzo, [executive director] of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a nonprofit business coalition working with city planners to address traffic issues. “We’re looking at simpler ways to improve signal timing to help pedestrians get across the street. We’re also finding ways to let the buses to get a few-second jump.”

Downtown bridge projects may spur development opportunities, Raleigh officials say
(Triangle Business Journal – October 9, 2015)  Joe Milazzo of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business coalition, says the bridges will serve as a gateway into the heart of downtown. “They’re going to serve multiple purposes,” Milazzo says. “They’re going to improve traffic in the area and they’re going to be a focus of people heading into downtown. The aesthetic element is very important.”

Our View: New Medians work, and more are coming 
(Fayetteville Observer – July 22, 2015)  Synchronized Streets are one priority of the I-40 Regional Partnership coordinated by RTA. The Synchronized Street reduces travel times and delays, while also improving safety.  On Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, accidents are down 40 percent.

Group offers low-cost solutions to troubled intersections
(WRAL – Sept. 23, 2009)  The Regional Transportation Alliance, which consists of local engineers, city and business leaders, recently analyzed nearly three dozen problematic intersections in area municipalities and identified 10 intersections where smaller and less expensive solutions could be implemented to improve traffic flow and safety.

Forum looks at eliminating left turns at major intersections

(WRAL – Sept. 11, 2008)  State transportation leaders met Thursday afternoon to discuss an idea that would eliminating left turns at busy intersections in an effort to reduce traffic congestion. The idea is already in place in Greensboro and has saved more than 2 million hours of delay since the 1970s – about 150 hours a day – according to the Regional Transportation Alliance, which is sponsoring a forum on the matter.


Intercity higher speed rail

How a $1.4B DOT plan in Virginia could boost high-speed rail in N.C.
(Triangle Business Journal – July 7, 2016) Joe Milazzo, director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, called it “an extraordinarily important project for the southern mid-Atlantic regions of Virginia – and North Carolina as well.” The ability to purchase the Virginia portion of the Raleigh to Richmond high-speed rail corridor is “the biggest development in high-speed rail that points north that I’ve seen,” he said Wednesday in an interview.

Deal sets train on fast track
 
(News and Observer – March 22, 2011) “It connects the two largest cities in the state right across the Piedmont crescent, with faster travel times that have become increasingly competitive with the automobile,” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a Triangle business group.


Transportation funding

N.C. Senate amendment spares Wake County’s transit tax plan
(Triangle Business Journal – June 17, 2015)  Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, says that as a result of the amendment, Wake County’s effort to develop a plan to update its transit system would proceed as-is. But he notes the budget process is “fluid” and much could change as lawmakers from both chambers continue to negotiate.

NCDOT plan fights urban congestion with light-rail and freeway upgrades
(News and Observer – Dec. 4, 2014)  A new state emphasis on tackling urban traffic jams is reflected in a 10-year transportation spending plan released Thursday, and that could be good news for commuters who clog Triangle freeways every workday. “We’re seeing some very important projects for this region move forward,” said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business advocacy group.


Technology

Time is right for electric buses in the Triangle
(Triangle Business Journal – June 30, 2017)  If all goes as planned, seven electric buses will be traversing the Triangle by 2019. That’s if the Federal Transit Administration approves a grant application that regional transportation authority GoTriangle submitted jointly with GoRaleigh, GoCary and Chapel Hill Transit this week.

Joe Milazzo, executive director for the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition, was among those who wrote letters of support for the grant. In a June 14 letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Milazzo writes that the Triangle “thrives on innovation and collaboration” and that the grant will “jump-start a shared effort to create a lower-emission regional transit system for our market while we construct five bus rapid transit corridors and complementary rail investments across our region during the next ten years.” In an email Thursday, Milazzo says alternative fuel technologies make public transit more sustainable and effective. And investments in transit are what people want, he adds. “The voters in all three core Triangle counties have voted via referenda for their new transit future,” he says. “New fuel technologies will help realize and accelerate that future by making it more attractive for both current and future users of transit – and more ridership yields more support and more accessibility to jobs and employment opportunities.”


RTA Events

NCDOT Secretary: We want to accelerate I-540 project
(Triangle Business Journal – July 14, 2017)  State officials hope to accelerate the much-anticipated ‘Complete 540’ project. That’s according to North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon, who told a group of leaders at the Regional Transportation Alliance 2017 Transportation Breakfast he was close to an official announcement. “I-40 is essentially our main street,” said Pete Marino, RTA Freeways chair and attorney with Smith Anderson, adding that protecting that asset is a top concern. “One of the key ties and ways to do that… that’s getting 540 connected to 40 in southern Wake County as quickly as possible… so we can help really relieve some of that congestion on I-40 and keep our Main Street, for better or worse, moving as quickly as possible.”

NC companies hope technology will smooth workers’ commutes
(WNCN – CBS North Carolina – December 15, 2016) At Thursday’s annual meeting of the Regional Transportation Alliance your commute was the main topic. “Trying to get from point A to point B to work, shipping different goods, all the things that make our community work well. If transportation fails as we grow, then our community’s not going to be as successful as we need it to be,” said Joe Milazzo II, Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Alliance Business Coalition. Milazzo wants every worker in the Triangle to have a good commute, because it’s good for business. Other executives agree.

“The quality of the transportation in an urban area is a huge differentiator in terms of attracting jobs and people to move into the region,” said Jack Klecha, Senior Manager of Cisco Systems Security and Trust Organization.

At the 15th annual meeting of the RTA, keynote speakers presented ways that technology can make that commute better, starting with piggy-backing off Wake County’s new transportation plan. I can really envision seeing circulator systems in neighborhoods bringing them to a high capacity, reliable BRT, or bus rapid transit service,” said Matthew Lesh, CCO of Meridian Autonomous.

As far as basic infrastructure, RTA is pushing for the completion of the 540 loop. “Our top strategic priority is in southern Wake County completing 540 between where it ends right now in Holly Springs to I-40. That’s the most important project we’re focused on right now,” said Milazzo.

IBM, Cisco execs talk the future of mobility at RTA meeting in Cary
(Triangle Business Journal – December 15, 2016) “It’s really exciting work,” Fran O’Sullivan, the Research Triangle Park-based general manager of global operations and global business services for IBM, told a crowd at the Regional Transportation Alliance’s 15th Annual Meeting in Cary on Thursday. O’Sullivan kicked off “The Future of Mobility,” a discussion on the future of transportation – a future that, according to execs who spoke at the event, isn’t too far off.

For example, IBM is working with a 3-D-printed car maker called Local Motors on a self-driving vehicle that’s integrated with the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM’s Watson. “It can talk to people, understand and answer back,” she says, adding that execs at Big Blue are hoping to use the vehicle, dubbed Olli, to pick up clients and transport them between IBM operations. “The world is being disrupted.”

Wake County officials talk Bus Rapid Transit with Virginia transportation execs
(Triangle Business Journal – July 8, 2016) Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance in the Triangle, was one of about 50 local business leaders and officials who recently met with Leach in northern Virginia to talk transit. He says Virginia’s incremental approach’s effectiveness was particularly telling. As there’s a bold plan proposed in the Triangle – four BRT lines total in Wake County – it’s likely an incremental approach would be how local metros would proceed, he says. “That way you could jump-start services sooner,” he says.

Wake Transit leaders visit northern Virginia for ideas, inspiration
(WRAL – July 1, 2016) A group from the Regional Transportation Alliance traveled this week to northern Virginia to see how Arlington handles moving hundreds of thousands of people around each day. “When a market is growing, your transportation system has to grow right along with it,” Regional Transportation Alliance Executive Director Joe Milazzo said. Milazzo said business leaders and elected officials chose to study Arlington’s systems because it’s similar to the Triangle. “They’re growing, high-tech areas – a lot of similarities with what we have here in Wake County, in the Triangle,” Milazzo said.

Wake weighs transit plan as fewer people get behind wheel
(WRAL – April 29, 2016) “Across the United States, we are seeing a change in behavior,” said Sam Schwartz, a former New York City traffic commissioner. “If that continues, it really changes the whole nature of how we get about and where we live and how we live.” Schwartz spoke to business leaders Friday morning at the Regional Transportation Alliance’s annual breakfast, telling them to plan for a future with fewer cars.

The Council Record
(Raleigh Public Record – January 11, 2016) “Councilor Baldwin in her report sung the praises of the Regional Transportation Alliance conference she attended in December with Councilors Gaylord and Branch. Baldwin was particularly inspired by one of the speakers, Gabe Klein, who co-authored the book “Start-Up City.” Baldwin came bearing gifts in the form a copy of the book for each of the Councilors. She said it dealt with a lot of the issues Raleigh is facing right now, such as bike sharing, citizen engagement and attracting innovation, and that the book would be a good subject for discussion at the council retreat.”