The regional business community is coordinating a study, funded by a 50:50 private:public partnership via the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition, GoTriangle, and NCDOT, to accelerate the creation of a regional Freeway And Street-based Transit (“FAST”) network that would better connect the entire Triangle area while improving accessibility and opportunity.
The FAST study is developing an illustrative, scalable approach to transform our roadways into true multimodal corridors that can provide rapid, frequent, and reliable transit service across the region — complementing upcoming investments in bus rapid transit and commuter rail, while directly serving RDU Airport and Research Triangle Park.
The FAST study is the pre-planning work designed to inspire, inform, and advance ideas for improving regional connectivity, supported by technical analysis. Consulting firm VHB is leading the FAST study with team members Stantec and Catalyst Design.
Preliminary study findings will be released on July 16 during an online briefing — see details below.
We will also launch a public comment period on that day — more information will be posted here.
FAST study briefing: July 16
Release of preliminary findings
Thursday, July 16
There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.
Join RTA, GoTriangle, and NCDOT to hear preliminary findings of the regional FAST study: a Freeway And Street-based Transit network vision for the Triangle, including a 2025 FAST network concept and potential SuperFAST projects that could be implemented even more quickly.
- Charles Lattuca, GoTriangle, president and CEO
- Heather Hildebrandt, NCDOT, integrated mobility division
- Joe Milazzo II, RTA, executive director
- Consultant team led by VHB
The presentation and related materials will be posted here following the online briefing.
Frequently Asked Questions
The regional business community along with local and state transportation partners seek to accelerate a region-wide network of high-quality transit routes to better connect and serve the entire Triangle area.
The study is being funded by a 50:50 private:public partnership, via the Regional Transportation Alliance business leadership group, our state NCDOT, and regional transit provider GoTriangle. In addition, a number of local, regional, and state partners are engaged in the study.
The FAST network concept seeks to transform many of our roadways into multimodal freeways and streets, through purposeful, scalable investments in “transit advantage” infrastructure, complementary operational priority measures, and enhanced, higher-frequency transit service. The FAST study seeks to accrue network benefits for current and future transit users by quickly advancing improved mobility across the region.
The proposed network incorporates multiple connections between our cities and towns, Research Triangle Park, and RDU Airport. It includes transit advantages that we have not yet used in our market, including transit bypasses of on-ramp signals, direct priority connections between freeways and streets, and interlining of high-frequency routes along busway segments to optimize transit operations and the user experience.
Proposed FASTfreeways are corridors like I-40, 540, and US 1 that could incorporate higher frequency express service and future high-frequency all day service to connect the region. Transit vehicles will use Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS) operation and/or our growing turnpike system, and potential future express lanes, to avoid traffic and stay on schedule.
Proposed FASTstreets are roadways like NC 54, US 70, and 15-501 that could add to or expand existing local and regional transit service by activating high-frequency, all-day service to connect communities and our region. All corridors will add transit advantage techniques including transit signal priority, queue jumps, and other provisions to keep transit moving.
SuperFAST projects are proposed short-term (6-24 month) improvements in frequency for existing bus routes, coupled with one or more low-cost transit advantage methods to keep transit vehicles moving.
The proposed corridor elements were identified through a robust technical process that reviewed existing roadway footprints and proposed enhancements, land use, population, employment, travel, and other considerations that highlight potential demand for enhanced transit. The corridors were also reviewed for the potential for accelerating new connections and expanding overall network benefits across the entire regional roadway system.
There are six active transit corridor projects in the region: five bus rapid transit and one regional commuter rail project – all of which will be funded by county transit taxes, state funding, and federal funding. This study builds on those efforts by identifying ways to extend and connect enhanced transit routes, and highlighting a scalable vision for a robust regional network.
GoTriangle is charged with providing reliable, effective regional transit service, via buses, vanpools, paratransit, and future commuter rail. This study speaks to the future of GoTriangle’s freeway and street-based services and provides an opportunity to explore and accelerate new ways of connectivity.
As a regional transit provider, GoTriangle is constantly looking for more efficient and innovative ways to serve the growing Triangle market. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has a statewide responsibility that includes multimodal partnerships with local and regional areas. This study will inform the thinking and planning for both entities and other transit partners.
Improved access to a variety of mobility options will connect people to greater employment and educational opportunities, supporting individuals in their career goals and contributions to their family and community. In our spread-out region, personal automobile travel is both efficient and empowering, but not everyone wants to or can drive. This accelerated “FAST” study gives us the opportunity to transform important roadways into multimodal freeways and streets that can effectively serve cars, buses, vanpools, and other shared vehicles.
This region already collaborates very well together from a transit planning perspective. The FAST study is one more example of partnerships with regional and state governmental partners and the private sector.