View a few case studies of RTA successes since 2003.
RTA championed the completion of 540 in western Wake County and the acceleration of 540 in southern Wake County, serving as the lead private sector lobbying organization for both segments.
RTA has been there for more than two decades in the sustained focus on completing this vital multimodal turnpike freeway. We issued an early report on the viability of tolls to accelerate 540. We organized advocacy efforts for a meeting about the Toll 147 Triangle Expressway within Research Triangle Park 20 years ago. We supported multiple pieces of legislation needed for turnpike implementation and success for 540 in western Wake County.
RTA also led the private sector engagement on 540 in southern Wake County. We established the acceleration of the corridor as priority one, and immediately sought and organized the sending of multiple letters with mayors and county leaders to support the corridor during various outreach and review processes. Our members, partners, and staff spoke at multiple hearings to convey ongoing support. We also hired an environmental policy firm to help our transportation partners identify potential solution paths at a critical time. RTA was indispensable in the success of 540, and we worked with a number of private and public sector partners to bring this needed corridor to fruition.
The initial section of 540 between Holly Springs and Research Triangle Park has continued to exceed projections, with traffic counts, transponder usage, and overall revenue higher than anticipated.
The next section of 540 between Holly Springs and I-40/future I-42 in southern Wake County had its official groundbreaking in fall 2019. We look forward to a mid-2024 opening of this essential turnpike freeway in southern Wake County.
RTA has been the leading proponent of a bus rapid transit (BRT) network in this market for ten years. Informed by a series of RTA Leadership Briefings and Tours as well as RTA volunteer and staff research, we pushed our transportation partners to consider the development of bus rapid transit elements in County-level transit plans.
We have pushed for “more transit, for more people, more quickly” — and we have advocated for a BRT-based approach as the most effective way to create that broad-based, accelerated transit network. We opposed a prior transit plan in Wake County that did not make any provisions for bus rapid transit.
In 2015, Wake County developed a revised transit plan with four BRT corridors as its centerpiece. RTA led the marketing and media strategy for the successful Wake County 2016 transit referendum.
In 2020 RTA commenced efforts on the development of a Freeway And Street-based Transit (FAST) network that would complement and extend the proposed bus rapid transit lines in Orange and Wake counties.
Ten years ago, the most congested section of freeway in the Triangle area was Interstate 40 between Cary and Raleigh. NCDOT had a plan at the time to expand the freeway from 2 lanes per direction, each way, to a 4 lane each way footprint.
Unfortunately, there were insufficient funds available to commence the project, so RTA proposed an interim widening of 2 lanes each way to 3 lanes. Our proposal was approved by NCDOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and then constructed in only two years. The bottleneck has been substantially reduced in the peak direction and effectively nonexistent in the off-peak direction, even during rush hour periods.
RTA, NCDOT, and GoTriangle coordinated the activation of North Carolina’s first Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS), which commenced with a pilot implementation on I-40 in Durham County followed by implementations on I-40 and the Wade Avenue freeway in Wake and Johnston counties.
The regional partners worked through a host of issues and considerations together in order to advance to a pilot and ultimately permanent installation. The discussions were informed by a bus on shoulder field visit to Minneapolis-St. Paul led by the Regional Transportation Alliance.