RTA spearheaded the push for a scalable, bus rapid transit-based approach for Wake County which became the foundation of the approved, bipartisan Wake County transit plan. RTA led communications strategy and media outreach for the successful Wake Transit referendum campaign which gained voter approval in November 2016 for a $2.1 billion, 10-year investment in enhanced transit. All three core Triangle counties-Wake, Durham, and Orange-now have voter-approved, dedicated transit funding.

More information on the 2016 Wake Transit campaign: www.movingwakeforward.com

Support for the Wake Transit referendum

The regional business community endorsed the Wake Transit referendum on July 28, 2016 at the annual RTA Leadership Retreat. RTA encouraged companies located in Wake County or with Wake County employees to also endorse the referendum.

Primary resources on the approved Wake Transit plan

About the Wake Transit plan

The Wake Transit plan is a multimodal, network-based approach that emphasizes a frequent network, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail. If you would like to see some of these systems in motion, check out RTA materials from our 2016 visit to northern Virginia.

Bus rapid transit in northern Virginia

Bus rapid transit in northern Virginia

“Four Big Moves” of the plan:

  1. Stronger regional connections
  2. Connections to all communities
  3. Frequent, reliable bus service
  4. Enhanced access to transit

Primary components of the plan:

  • More than 60 new miles in our frequent transit network, providing service every 15 minutes or better
  • Creates 20 miles of bus rapid transit infrastructure
  • Increases overall bus service by three times current levels
  • Expands regional connections with enhanced express bus and 37 miles of commuter rail

See below for maps of each of the Wake Transit plan components.

What is bus rapid transit (BRT)
See northern Virginia’s Metroway BRT – a focus of RTA’s 2016 Field Visit

What is commuter rail (CRT)
See the Virginia Railway Express commuter rail in northern Va. and metro D.C. – a focus of RTA’s 2016 Field Visit


Why Transit

  • More travel options both now and as we continue to grow
  • Competitive advantage in attracting/retaining talent
  • Alternative to driving and a means to avoid congestion, parking
  • Access to jobs, healthcare, education, social and cultural events
  • Focus land use, support sustainable and walkable development


Maps of the approved Wake Transit Plan

Click to expand the maps below

Stronger regional connections

  • Expands regional express bus and initiates 37 miles of regional commuter rail service


Connections to all communities 

  • Increases overall bus service by approximately three times current levels


Frequent, reliable bus service

  • Adds more than 60 new miles in our frequent transit network, providing service every 15 minutes or better for the vast majority of the day
  • Creates 20 miles of bus rapid transit infrastructure as an enhanced version of our frequent network, with partial dedication of lanes where appropriate


Enhanced access to transit

  • 50% of people in Wake County will live within ½ mile of a bus stop
  • Matching funds available for towns to accelerate new or enhanced service


Wake-Transit-plan-funding-chartFunding for the Wake Transit plan

$1.2 billion Wake County share 

  • Half-cent local sales tax
  • New $7 county vehicle registration fee
  • Existing 5% vehicle rental tax
  • Fare box revenue

$2.4 billion total plan cost

  • Total capital, operating, fund balance allocation



Additional Wake Transit background:

Click here for more information on RTA’s regional transit priorities.