New Bern Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
The City of Raleigh is in the process of developing and implementing a bus rapid transit (BRT) project in the New Bern Avenue corridor to connect the Raleigh central business district with the WakeMed Raleigh campus and New Hope Road, a total span of approximately 5.1 miles (view map). The proposed project includes approximately 3.3 miles of new dedicated transit infrastructure improvements between GoRaleigh Station, in downtown Raleigh, and Sunnybrook Road, including transit signal priority (TSP) at signalized intersections and up to twelve (12) weather-protected BRT stations. The project also includes approximately 1.8 miles of service in general traffic lanes, with potential TSP at signalized intersections, between Sunnybrook Road and New Hope Road. The terminus at New Hope Road will include a proposed park-and-ride and transfer facility that will be implemented as a separate project.
The purpose of the New Bern Avenue Corridor BRT project is to improve transit service from downtown Raleigh to New Hope Road. This new transit investment would accommodate projected growth, create transit infrastructure that allows the BRT route and other approved transit services to bypass major congestion points, and improve the attractiveness of the service to experience ridership growth.
The Wake County Transit Plan (2016) identified New Bern Avenue between downtown Raleigh and the WakeMed Raleigh campus as a BRT corridor. The Wake Transit Fixed Guideway Corridors Major Investment Study (2018) further refined this BRT alternative by identifying a single potential alignment for dedicated runningway infrastructure along New Bern Avenue that consists of the following three (3) roadway segments:
- New Bern Avenue between Blount Street and Poole Road (in the eastbound direction);
- Edenton Street between Blount Street and Poole Road (in the westbound direction); and,
- New Bern Avenue between Poole Road and Sunnybrook Road.
This alignment alternative was further refined to include BRT service along the corridor that extends eastward to a future transfer and park-and-ride facility at or near the intersection of New Bern Avenue and New Hope Road. This alternative uses the existing roadway network in downtown Raleigh to circle GoRaleigh Station and continues east using the one-way street pair of Edenton Street (westbound) and New Bern Avenue (eastbound) between Blount Street and Poole Road.
A BRT project with the proposed alignment and termini is the only alternative that satisfies the purpose and need for the project by providing direct access to the major origins and destinations along the corridor and that serves the identified travel market. This proposed BRT mode along the described alignment and with the described termini is the most cost-effective and least intrusive mode that can achieve the purpose and need for the project. The BRT mode improves throughput capacity and transit service reliability to a level that is adequate to serve the existing and projected travel market without introducing significant impacts to the corridor.
On June 4, 2019, the Raleigh City Council recommended the described alternative as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) to the CAMPO Executive Board for its consideration of adoption and inclusion in the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and FYs 2018-2027 Transportation Improvement Program. The Executive Board adopted and approved the inclusion of the LPA at its meeting on August 21, 2019, following a 30-day public comment period.