Member Briefing: May 7, 2021

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

The future of transit is wide open – and so is the Wake BRT open house
The Wake bus rapid transit program is in full swing, with initial construction of our region’s first BRT corridor expected to begin next year. We will have more than 20 miles of enhanced transit with focused infrastructure this decade in Wake County alone, with more than 50 miles of BRT regionwide by 2030. One way that you can and should learn more about this opportunity is via an interactive, virtual BRT open house, led by RTA Leadership Team member the City of Raleigh. It is fully online and available now through May 21. There are also specific corridor open houses with live Q&A sessions at 6 pm on the evenings of May 10 (“Western” corridor, connecting Raleigh and Cary), May 11 (“New Bern” Avenue corridor in east Raleigh), and May 20 (“Southern” corridor, connecting Raleigh and Garner).

A time of change and opportunity for NC rail
In last week’s briefing, I mentioned GoTriangle’s excellent new website dedicated to the proposed east-west commuter rail corridor. One of the advantages of commuter rail is its ability to leverage and improve our existing freight-and-passenger railroad corridor. We have another opportunity to learn about the future of rail from the owners of said corridor, the North Carolina Railroad Company, who are hosting a free webinar on May 21: Railroading in a Time of Change, which will be the first in a series of “Progress in Motion” webinars.  Both GoTriangle and the NC Railroad Company are longstanding members of our RTA Regional Leadership Team, and I encourage our members to visit the commuter rail website and consider registering for the railroading webinar.

Regional success = 2/3 “me” and 1/3 “we”
Many people say that as our market continues to grow, we have to think “regionally”, which is obviously true. However, a good question one might ask is, “what does ‘regional’ mean” – and what are the resulting implications for policy.  After nearly 20 years with this regional business leadership group, I have developed my own view of, not necessarily what qualifies as “regional”, but what a pathway to regional success looks like on any given issue. I allude to it in the title of the blurb; you can learn a little more in this week’s blog. Feel free to connect with me directly with your thoughts.

Thank you for your investment in regional business leadership on transportation!

Let’s get moving,

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

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