Member briefing: March 12, 2021

Here is a brief weekly update from the RTA business coalition — the voice of the regional business community on transportation.

NCDOT launches FAST webpage to help transit move faster
RTA, GoTriangle, and NCDOT have recently completed the Freeway And Street-based Transit (FAST) study to advance ideas for improving multimodal mobility. With a strategic goal of institutionalizing “transit advantage” measures along the state highway network, the study has catalyzed several improvements including changes to the NCDOT roadway design manual, updates to the complete streets policy, and more. You can download the final report for the Triangle region, as well as a statewide “playbook” and FAST vision FAQs on the NCDOT FAST Vision webpage. You can read more about the completion of the FAST study in this week’s RTA blog Kudos to RTA members VHB, Stantec, and Catalyst Design for outstanding work on this effort. FYI, this study is also the foundation for the I-40 Transit Priority Shoulder initiative being led by RTA – more to come on this. 

Skies are beginning to clear for RDU
It wasn’t that many years ago that this region was seeking its first nonstop flight to Austin. Now, no fewer than four carriers will be offering daily nonstops to the Texas capital, thanks to American Airlines’ announcement, which adds to the current list including Delta Air Lines, Southwest, and JetBlue. In addition, Delta stated earlier this month that they will retain RDU’s focus city status – but not that of peer markets San Jose or Nashville – which means that there is strong external affirmation in the upside potential for our region. Of course, nothing is for certain, other than the importance of the airport, and the members of the RTA RDU AID task force are hard at work looking for options to create a sustainable business model for RDU. They will share their updated findings with you at our annual breakfast event on July 9 – mark your calendar.

RTA focused on advancing zero fare weekends transit pilot
RTA has embraced the increased focus on equity in America and locally — including Wake County’s “prosperity for all” framework, and our region’s goals of health and economic mobility. Our organization supports the future launch of a zero fare weekends pilot, which will reduce barriers to using and considering transit, while enhancing access for vulnerable communities. In addition, experience from other markets indicate that overall ridership could increase by 20-30% when fares are eliminated. A zero fare weekends pilot for everyone would give our region the opportunity to experiment and to strengthen support for our growing community’s enhanced transit investment. We will continue to seek budgetary allocations to support a future zero fare weekends pilot for one or more agencies across the region.

Thank you for your membership in the RTA business coalition!

Let’s get moving,

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

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Thank you to our Omnia Gold, Sustaining Gold, and Gold members

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