Workshop on Alternative Transportation in RTP
On November 11, 2008, SmartCommute@rtp and Triangle Transit hosted a moderated discussion to generate ideas for transit (and other) connections to employers in The Research Triangle Park. More than 40 RTP employers/employees interested in transit and other alternative commuting options (bike/walk, carpool, vanpool, etc.) to and within the Park attended the event.
Transit Service in RTP
Triangle Transit began directly operating regional bus transit service in 1993, with service connecting Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill to each other and to employment destinations in The Research Triangle Park. Prior to the relocation of Triangle Transit’s Regional Transit Center in December 2008, Triangle Transit provided access to its system of regional bus services (which now includes service to Apex, Cary, Garner, and Wake Forest) to a large number of employers within the Park through a combination of fixed-route and “by-request” shuttle services. Even with front-door service to many employment sites, the RTP shuttle routes were among the lowest performing routes in Triangle Transit’s system.
The Regional Transit Center’s Impact on RTP Shuttles
With the service changes related to the relocation of Triangle Transit’s Regional Transit Center in December 2008 from RTP (Park Dr at NC-54, RTP) to the Imperial Center (Emperor Blvd at Slater Rd, Durham), the number of RTP employers served by Triangle Transit shuttles decreased, meaning fewer RTP employees have direct access to regional bus routes departing from our Regional Transit Center.
Challenges and Opportunities for Transit in RTP
The large concentration of employment in RTP makes it an important travel (and therefore, transit) destination in our region. However, the nature of land use within the Park makes it a challenge to provide consistent, reliable, and cost-efficient transit service to a majority of RTP employees. To address these competing issues, Triangle Transit included in its Short-Range Transit Plan (adopted July 2008) a project to evaluate RTP shuttle service and identify demonstration projects aimed at improving regional access to transit for employees in the Park. The Workshop on Alternative Transportation in RTP was the first step in this process.
Goal of the Workshop on Alternative Transportation in RTP
Our goal was to come away from the workshop with a list of innovative ideas for ways to improve transit access to Park employers, which we did! See the links above to download a summary of the results.
What will we do with the Workshop results?
During the Spring semester in 2009, Triangle Transit worked with faculty and students at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to evaluate the ideas that come out of the Workshop, as well as other approaches to providing transit access to other office/research parks across the country, and provide recommendations for pilot projects to test during the next fiscal year (July 2009-June 2010) and beyond. Click on the link to view the Executive Summary of the student-workshop recommendations.