Pages: transitplan
Version HistoryVersion History




Wake County Transit Plan

Scheduling Start Date


Scheduling End Date


Article Date



Russ O'Melia


Russ W. O'Melia

Contact E-Mail Address



Planning, Development and Inspections

Classification Type

Reference Information



Page Content

​The Wake County Transit Plan provides a two-pronged approach to meeting increasing transit needs as the County continues to grow: 

  1. Core Transit Plan: Expands local and commuter bus service and builds a rush-hour commuter rail service from Garner to Durham; provides amenities such as park-and-ride lots, sidewalks, signage and bus shelters, benches and other structures.
  2. Enhanced Transit Plan: Builds light rail service from downtown Cary through downtown Raleigh, up to Millbrook Road.

The Cost

Wake County’s share of the five-year bus plan would be $139.2 million of the total $329 million cost for both capital and operating. Bus services currently receive some state and federal funding, which would cover the remainder.

Commuter rail would cost $650 million. Wake County’s share would be $330 million, and Durham would pay $320 million. Commuter rail is expected to be in place 5 to 6 years after a successful referendum.

Light rail is estimated to cost $1.1 billion (2011 dollars), to construct the rail line and pay for stations and park-and-ride lots. Operating costs would be $14 million per year. This portion of the Transit Plan will not be implemented without state and federal funding.

How We’d Pay For It

The revenue sources would include:

  • A half-cent sales tax, which must be approved by voters. (The sales tax does not apply to food, medicine, utilities and housing.)
  • Vehicle registration fees would increase by $10 per car.

See how much you’d pay in sales tax based on income and vehicle registration fees for your municipality. 


Questions and Answers

Wake County Board of Commissioners Questions regarding the November 2011 version of the Wake County Transit Plan (submitted 8/6/2012)

Staff's Answers to the BOC's Questions  

Regional Transportation Alliance's (RTA) Questions regarding the November 2011 version of the Wake County Transit Plan (submitted 8/2/2012)

Staff's Answers to RTA's Questions


Parts of the Transit Plan

Wake County Transit Plan
Wake County Transit Plan – Executive Summary
Appendix A – Capital Investments
Appendix B – Local Bus Service Details
Appendix C – Commuter Bus Service Details
Appendix D – Proposed Commuter Rail
Appendix E – Commuter Rail Service Details
Appendix F – Light Rail Transit
Appendix G – Financial Models
Appendix H – Analysis of Forecasts and Projections
Appendix I – Sales Tax Revenues
Appendix J – Financials – Sensitivity Analysis
Appendix K – Financial Model Updates and Other Plan Changes
Appendix L – Existing Transit Services in Wake County 

Transit Plan Review Steps 

  • The plan was presented to the Wake County Board of Commissioners on November 14, 2011, in a work session. No action was taken.
  • Wake County, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and Triangle Transit staff met with municipalities in 2011 and 2012 to identify concerns with the plan.  The parties also discussed language of an Interlocal Agreement that would establish the governance of the Transit Plan.
  • Wake County Board of Commissioner's submitted a list of questions regarding the Transit Plan in August 2012.
  • An updated version of the Wake County Transit Plan was released in September 2012.  Wake County, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and Triangle Transit, staff provided answers to the questions submitted by the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
  • The Wake County Commissioners will consider the plan again and decide whether to adopt it and place the sales tax on the ballot.


The plan was developed by: 

Questions? Comments?

We’d love to hear from you. Share any comments or questions with us by emailing us at

To Print the Transit Plan

A PDF of the entire plan in printable format is available. Note that it is a large file (58.1 MB) and will take some time to download. It contains blank pages as spacers to print the full report two-sided. Please note that the financial spreadsheets in Appendix G are formatted at 11” x 17” so you may wish to print those separately and insert them in the booklet.

Download the entire printable version of the Wake County Transit Plan.



Rollup Image



Russ O'Melia
Approval Status Approved
Content Type: Article Page
Version: 16.0
Created at 7/11/2012 2:38 PM by Russ W. O'Melia
Last modified at 1/21/2014 12:57 PM by Stephen R. Walston