News & Observer Letter: Public Transportation Referendum Would Aid Students

There are many reasons to vote in favor of the Wake County Public Transportation Referendum in the Nov. 8 election. Better transit will relieve traffic congestion in our fast-growing county; provide alternatives to driving that save time and improve the quality of life; grow our economy by attracting professionals and leading industries to the area; and expand access to education, health care, jobs, and civic life for all.

The Wake Tech Community College Board of Trustees has unanimously endorsed the Wake transit plan. The trustees understand the challenge of providing educational opportunities to a county that has more than a million residents – and grows by 64 new residents every day.

Serving more than 71,000 students a year is a challenge Wake Tech is proud to meet; but our student population continues to grow each year. Our six campuses and three training centers are strategically located throughout the county, making educational opportunities within reach for many residents – but not everyone. One out of every eight Wake County adults is a Wake Tech student, and not all have cars.

A public transportation system increases access to higher education for those students, and for others who must drive congested roads daily.

Strong public transportation will also reduce the need for additional parking lots and decks – saving money over time – and alleviate traffic jams near our campuses.

I’m proud to join more than 75 organizations, businesses and colleges across Wake County in supporting the Wake County Public Transportation referendum, and I encourage other residents to do so.

Passage of the referendum will produce real results: Over 10 years, we’ll see current bus service triple, with expanded frequency and hours of operation; four new Bus Rapid Transit lines along major corridors; service to every city and town in the county; and commuter rail service from Garner to Durham, with stops in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and RTP.

Wake Tech strives to provide education that keeps pace with our modern community, and we need a modern public transportation system that serves our region as well. Our trustees know and that challenges facing Wake Tech and its students are the same challenges facing most residents and businesses in our community. We believe public transportation is critical to addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid growth Wake County has experienced.

That’s why I strongly encourage voters to look at the end of their ballots and vote for the Public Transportation Referendum.


This article appeared in the News and Observer On October 13th as a letter to the editor, authored by Stephen C. Scott, President of Wake Technical Community College.  For more information, visit here.