The Indy Week's Endorsements for Wake County
Wake County is growing by sixty-three people a day, but its public transportation system is firmly stuck in the twentieth century. We're overdue for an upgrade.
The public transportation referendum isn't perfect, but it is a start, with promises to increase the frequent bus network in Raleigh and Cary from seventeen to eighty-three miles, an expansion of weekend bus service, and to bring both a thirty-seven-mile commuter rail and bus rapid transit to the county within the next ten years.
As long as it's implemented in the correct way, the Wake County Transit Plan—which will get 48 percent of its funding this half-cent sales tax hike, should voters approve it—will improve the lives of current Wake County riders and encourage other people to use public transportation as well.
In a perfect world, public transportation investments would be funded by higher taxes on the wealthy rather than a regressive sales tax. But, thanks to state law, that's not an option. And time is of the essence: last year, Republican legislators threatened to take away the county's ability to raise taxes for public transportation. If this referendum fails, we might not get another chance.
The above is excerpted from an Indy Week editorial that appeared on October 19th. Read more here.