Nov 8, 2023 - News

Raleigh breaks ground on its future bus rapid transit line

What the bus-rapid transit line on New Bern Avenue would look like. Rendering: Courtesy of the City of Raleigh

Construction on the first of Raleigh's four bus rapid transit lines began Tuesday, marking the start of a multi-year effort.

Driving the news: The first BRT line will run 5.4 miles down New Bern Avenue between downtown and WakeMed and New Hope Road.

Why it matters: Bus-rapid transit operates similarly to light rail but at a cheaper cost.

  • The buses operate in their own lanes, have elevated platforms and get priority green lights.

Zoom out: Raleigh's BRT network will one day stretch four different directions from downtown, including a southern leg to downtown Garner, a western leg to downtown Cary and northern routes to North Hills and Triangle Town Center.

A map of the four legs of BRT. Photo: City of Raleigh

Details: The New Bern Avenue leg of BRT will cost around $96 million, and is being paid for by the Federal Transit Administration, the city and a half-cent sales tax passed by Wake County in 2016.

  • The New Bern Avenue section could be ready for buses by 2025, and the southern leg to Garner would be built next.

The big picture: BRT could become more widespread in the Triangle, especially after federal officials gave local leaders negative feedback about its commuter rail plans that would have gone from Durham to Johnston County.


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