Triangle Transit Plan

My first post explores a world where the Raleigh-Durham area has a comprehensive Transit system. I didn’t include the planned BRT lines since it looks like that is finally getting off the ground. There are also preliminary plans for a Commuter Rail line stretching from Garner to Durham but that is in the early stages. The CAMPO 2045 ( plan also calls for a few other lines but they are very far off.

Take a look below at the interactive GoogleMap I created to see in full detail. I’ll also explore each route in detail as we move on.

Commuter Rail

Commuter Rail with example station locations

Clayton to Hillsborough line

This is the most high profile line, and is already in the planning stages for the most part. My plan would have stops in Clayton, White Oak Plaza, Garner, RUS (Downtown Raleigh), NCState, Fairgrounds / Stadium, Cary, Park West Village, Morrisville, RTP, Ellis Point, Downtown Durham, Duke, and Hillsborough.

Potential expansion westward to Greensboro or connection to Amtrak and Eastward to Smithfield / Selma with less frequent service should be explored.

Raleigh to Wake Forest

The “North” line would service RUS, New Hope, Triangle Town Center, Southern Wake Forest and Wake Forest. Potential expansion to Franklinton and Henderson with less frequent service should be explored.

Raleigh to Fuquay-Varina

The “South” line would service RUS, Ten-Ten, and Fuquay-Varina. Further service on a less frequent basis should be explored to Fayetteville.

Raleigh to Sanford

The line stretching to the Southwest would service RUS, Cary, Apex, Veridea, New Hill and Sanford.

Raleigh to Zebulon

I’m a bit bias toward this one. The “East” line would service RUS, WakeMed, Knightdale, Wendell Falls, Wendell, Zebulon, and Five County Stadium. Less frequent service to Wilson and Greenville should be explored.

Durham to Apex

While this is the only line that doesn’t service Downtown Raleigh it still captures two important commute patterns in Durham to Apex and RTP to Apex.

New Rail Lines

These two lines would probably be nearly impossible to implement, but based on commute and development, patterns would display huge benefit.

New Rail Lines

The first line stretches from RTP to Triangle Town Center along I-540 which was one of the most congested corridors pre-COVID. The second extends the Durham-Apex line through Holly Springs, which is a rapidly growing suburb with a lack of highway access.

Though these lines sport the name “Commuter Rail”, I’d ideally like for the trains to operate during off-peak hours and on the weekends. This would allow for leisure travel to games, events etc as if they were Subway lines. To maximize the impact of the rail lines, dense Transit Oriented Developments should be proposed adjacent to stations.

StreetCar System

Raleigh Streetcar System

Maybe not in Atlanta (yet), but streetcars seem like a great alternative to full blown light rail and heavy rail.

My idea would provide fair coverage to Downtown Raleigh with lines encircling, and branching out from the urban core.

The Orange line would be a one-way circulator along the periphery of Downtown.

The Green Line stretches from Downtown to the upcoming Downtown South development, and Soccer Stadium.

The Pink Line would service NC State along Hillsborough Street.

The Red line would service the Village District and Peace Street Corridor.

The Blue line would service Downtown, Midtown and North Hills in what will hopefully become a seamless urban corridor such as Peachtree St from Buckhead to Downtown in Atlanta. Ideally, the route would remain off of Capital Blvd which should be a limited-access facility north of Downtown by the way, and utilize the planned West St extension or my planned Wake Forest Rd extension (plan coming next week to the site).

Over in the booming downtown of Durham, a StreetCar system linking NCCU, Downtown, Duke could go a long way to the continued renaissance that city is seeing. While we’re talking about Downtown Durham – I can’t wait for the Durham Beltline to be constructed.

Durham StreetCar System

To maximize ridership, and minizine hassle and cars in our Downtowns, fares should be kept to $1 and all-day, weekend, and student passes should be explored.

Comments, suggestions? Let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to chat with you all. My hope is to publish a plan weekly (maybe more, probably less). Some of my upcoming plans are: I-87-New Bern Connector, Raleigh Union Station Park, Downtown Northern Connectivity, Downtown Southern Connectivity, Durham Freeway Conversion and more. Elsewhere on the site I also plan to publish some of my favorite photos of cities, nature, houses, and sports I’ve taken and maybe even some sports blogging. Stay tuned.

Phil Veasley

2 thoughts on “Triangle Transit Plan

  1. Saw your thread on Twitter, Phil. And opened up the tweet on the many ways of make cities better. You have put so much effort into all this. Sincerely hope it is successful. Having fares for $1 would definitely maximize ridership.


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