Member Briefing: August 20, 2021

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

RTA leadership takes action on Accelerated Metropolitan Mobility
We held our 20th Annual Regional Leadership Retreat earlier today at the outdoor terrace of The Umstead Hotel and Spa. More than 50 RTA Gold, Silver, and Bronze members and guests enjoyed RTA’s longest-ever outside meeting, with an open-air tent, 8 fans, and 1 chandelier providing comfort, ventilation, and a touch of grandeur.

The regional business community, along with our public-sector partners, spent the morning discussing freeway, transit, and RDU Airport projects, initiatives, and funding under the umbrella framework of Accelerated Metropolitan Mobility.

Here are some highlights and actions from today’s RTA Regional Leadership retreat: 


  • RTA reaffirmed support for the Wake Transit plan, with bus rapid transit (BRT) and commuter rail elements
  • For the Durham Transit plan, group consensus to continue our 2/3 “me” (Durham) and 1/3 “we” (regional) framework – with scalable BRT, freeway and street-based transit (FAST), and commuter rail
  • RTA endorsed “transit priority shoulder” as requested standard practice for new/modernized freeways in metro areas – such as I-40 between RTP and Chapel Hill


  • RTA reaffirmed our ongoing support of accelerated, scalable, “rapid relief” freeway improvements amidst current funding and inflationary challenges
  • We offered a few “something sooner” examples:  US 1 north of I-540 (e.g., single interchange construction before upgrade to full freeway), I-40 on-ramp signals, and express shoulder lanes for I-540

Federal funding for RDU Airport

  • RTA prioritized federal support for RDU runway
  • We committed to leading a private-public federal funding advocacy campaign, in which members will be asked to write appropriately timed letters of support

Local and regional funding for RDU Airport

  • RTA will request that RDU increase parking fees, either all at once or over time
  • RTA will request that RDU study the revenue potential of implementing an airport access fee
  • RTA supports modernized, increased local investments by the two city and two county owners of the airport

You can view the presentations from our guest speakers here, and additional background from the actions above here.

More to come on each of these items, and regional business leadership and partnership to advance an Accelerated Metropolitan Mobility strategy, in the weeks and months ahead. 

Thank you for your membership.

Let’s get moving,

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

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