News and observer, letter to the editor: Transit plan will benefit all of Wake County

Wake County has seen tremendous growth recently and our towns are often cited as some of the best places to live and do business in the country. Over 64 people move to Wake County every day and as mayors on opposite sides of Wake County, we know the challenges of traffic and transportation that come with growth. 

We want to see this growth continue for years to come and that’s why we’re supporting the public transportation referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot. 

The public transportation referendum is the final step in implementing a bipartisan plan that’s been developed through hundreds of listening sessions, thousands of comments and a year-long planning process. Wake County residents and representatives from local universities, hospitals, businesses, every Wake County municipality, civic groups and the Wake County Public School System have all contributed to this plan.

 

Our community has developed one of the best transportation plans in the country, and it’s now up to us to implement it. This is the right plan for Wake County. 

Transit improvements would begin quickly with bus service increasing almost immediately and tripling over 10 years. When the plan is fully implemented, 70 percent of Wake County jobs will be located within a half mile of a transit stop, and we’ll see 19-hour daily bus service. In addition, we would see bus rapid transit lines and a commuter rail line developed. 

The bottom line is every part of Wake County would see improvements that would improve our quality of commuting and our quality of life within a decade. 

Western Wake residents will receive rush hour commuter rail service. Eastern Wake residents will see express rush hour service, and Northern Wake County will have park-and-ride or drop-off access to the core frequent network via Triangle Town Center. 

This is truly a plan that will benefit everyone. Whether someone rides regularly or just take public transportation occasionally, they’ll enjoy the benefits. Even if they’re not planning on riding public transportation, others will be – and that means fewer cars on the road while we’re driving. 

Older and young residents alike will have expanded access to health care, education, entertainment and jobs. 

We know public transportation makes higher education more accessible to students. Strong transportation creates the kind of community where people want to move and raise a family. 

Strong public transportation will also help make Wake County a more livable and accessible place for our seniors. When asked what amenities seniors want to see closer to home, 50 percent indicated they wanted to see a bus stop closer to home (source: AARP Policy Institute). 

Once fully implemented, our public transportation plan will place transit stops within a half-mile of nearly 50 percent of Wake County homes. Public transportation helps seniors manage day-to-day tasks and keep their independence and it helps keep seniors in their homes. 

Please join us and go to the end of your ballot to vote for the public transportation referendum. Let’s move Wake County forward – together. 

 

The News and Observer, letter to the editor on October 29th. Written by 

MARK STOHLMAN 

MAYOR, MORRISVILLE

JAMES ROBERSON 

MAYOR, KNIGHTDALE

Read More here http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article111419202.html