2017 has been a remarkable year for the Triangle’s mobility future.

What follows is a brief end-of-year summary on the top accomplishments of the RTA business coalition and the region. Some of these we initiated or led, while others we supported or highlighted. All were done in concert with our region’s elected and transportation partners.

RTA Top Three Priorities for 2017:  A hat trick of success for America’s Most Forward-Moving Region

  • RTA priority 1 – Accelerate 540:  540 accelerates as federal government approves final environmental document – eight months early
    Last week the federal government joined NCDOT and the NC Turnpike Authority by signing the final environmental impact statement for the extension of 540 to Interstate 40 in southern Wake County. This approval occurred eight months early and sets the top priority of the regional business community up for a possible accelerated construction schedule.
  • RTA priority 2 – Fund RDU Master Plan:  More than $30m in annual recurring funds for RDU approved by NC legislature
    Air service development is economic development. Our partners at RDU International have consistently made that case and we are pleased that the NC Legislature has provided significant funding to help fund the RDU Vision 2040 Master Plan – which was just approved by the federal government this fall.
  • RTA priority 3 – Create low-cost project fund:  New $44m annually in statewide low-cost project fund approved by NC legislature
    We initiated this conversation with NCDOT earlier this year. NCDOT has exhibited tremendous leadership in advancing this opportunity – both before and after legislative passage.

Other successes of RTA and/or the region, involving transit, bike share, and congestion relief: 

  • Wake Transit implementation begins, the largest county transit referendum in NC history
  • $207m Raleigh Transportation Bond referendum easily approved by voters
  • Durham-Orange light rail receives federal approval to move into Engineering phase
  • Successful implementation of on-ramp signals for I-540 in north Raleigh
  • I-540 express shoulder lanes receives $70m in funding in draft state transportation plan
  • Wake County welcomes its first north-south primary Interstate: I-87
  • Bicycle share expands from zero to six systems across the region
  • RTA releases America’s Most Moving-Forward Region mobility report

These and other successes have made 2017 a great year for our region. Read more about several of these in this full blog.

In next week’s weekly member briefing, I will provide an overview of our 2018 priorities, and some thoughts about our upcoming Summit Series.

Happy New Year,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director