Multimodal Planning Coordination

Last updated Oct. 18, 2016 - 9:17 am

Coordination of rail transit issues is an active effort involving a wide array of stakeholders. The City of Raleigh continues to participate in various multimodal planning efforts throughout the region, including the Wake County Transit Plan, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's (CAMPO) update to the Long Range Transportation Plan, Triangle Transit's Alternative Analyses for both a local light rail system and a regional commuter rail system, and NCDOT's planning efforts on Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR). At the nexus of almost all of these planning efforts sits the City's planned multimodal center in Downtown Raleigh: Union Station.

Stakeholder than are working together on Transit Planning in the region

  • Amtrak
  • Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO)
  • City of Raleigh
  • CSX Corporation
  • Durham County
  • Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC)
  • Greyhound Lines
  • GoRaleigh Transit
  • GoTriangle Transit
  • Norfolk-Southern Corporation (NS)
  • North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR)
  • Orange County
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)
  • Triangle J Council of Governments
  • Wake County

The Union Station report, an effort led by the City of Raleigh in 2010, represents the completion of a three year process and includes significant outreach and coordination of varied stakeholders including Amtrak, GoRaleigh, CSX, Greyhound, Norfolk-Southern, NCRR, NCDOT Rail Division, and Triangle Transit. The report presented a conceptual location and identified the spatial needs associated with a regional multimodal transit center. It also provides a strategy for future development surrounding the station. A primary goal of the station is to house the platforms for the multiple transit modes in a single facility and to provide easy passenger access between the platforms and the surrounding community.

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • That the City of Raleigh enter into an Inter-Local Agreement with Triangle Transit to coordinate the design, construction, and operation of the Raleigh Union Station;
  • That the City of Raleigh creates a team whose sole responsibility would be to make Union Station a reality. The team will require specialized skills to pursue Federal and State Funds, to plan and develop the multimodal facility, and to address surrounding real estate issues.

In recent years, numerous plans and studies have supported the Union Station concept. This effort recently culminated in the submission of a grant request to the US Department of Transportation under their "Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery" (TIGER) grant program. This grant application package demonstrates the strategy and constructability that will be necessary to complete the first phase of the Raleigh Union Station.

Title & Sponsor Date Findings & Present-Day Relevancy
Interim Report of the Governor's Rail Passenger Task Force,
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)
March 1989 Executive Order Number 71 mandated the study of present, near-term and long-term rail passenger needs. Recommended the preservation of existing rail corridors and implementation of a clear long-term direction, supported by adequate funding, to promote rail passenger service to complement existing transportation options in congested corridors.

Forms basis for 1993 NCDOT Report of the Governor's Rail Task Force.

Report of the Governor's Rail Task Force,
January 1993 This report focused on near- and long-term opportunities for improving rail transportation in the state.
Determined that NCDOT "should continue to promote and press for intermodal stations wherever feasible."

Forms basis for 1996 City of Raleigh (COR) study.

Downtown Intermodal Transportation Center Feasibility Study,
City of Raleigh
A feasibility study of ridership demands for a multimodal facility in Downtown Raleigh. Ridership estimations for GoRaleigh bus, commuter rail, and intercity rail supported concept and determined that ridership was high enough to warrant such a facility.

Forms basis for COR 2002 Downtown Raleigh Intermodal Facility Study.

Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Corridor Feasibility Study Summary & Implementation Plan April 1999 A feasibility study of the approximately 500 mile Federally designated high speed rail corridor running from Washington DC through Richmond, VA, Raleigh, NC to Charlotte, NC. This corridor was one of five national high speed rail corridors designated for improvements to high speed status under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991. Report identifies Raleigh, NC as one of the stations requiring improvements to accommodate the increased demand from improvements in the transportation network.

Informs COR 2002 Downtown Raleigh Intermodal Facility Study.

Downtown Raleigh Intermodal Facility Phase II Conceptual Study,
Partnership: City of Raleigh, NCDOT, Triangle Transit
2002 A conceptual study that recommended a planning study area, design, and programming for an intermodal facility in Downtown. This served as a Planning refinement of the 1996 study and included conceptual architecture.

Forms basis for 2010 COR study.

Regional Transit Vision Plan,
Special Transit Advisory Commission (STAC) of the MPO
2007-2008 Recommends major regional transit capital investments, including enhanced bus service, local circulators, and over 50 miles of fixed-guideway transit. Also recommends pursuit of local transit tax. STAC recommendations became the baseline for the transit element of the MPO's Joint 2035 LRTP.

Informs Transit Element in LRTP, 2009.

North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) Shared Corridor Commuter Rail Capacity Study,
2008 Demonstrates the feasibility of running commuter rail between Greensboro and Goldsboro. Total infrastructure cost for new tracks, sidings, and bridges along the 141-miles is $650 million, and equipment and support facilities are estimated at $350 million. The study concludes that there is enough room in the 200-foot wide corridor to build both a commuter rail system and a light rail system. Recommends that NCRR and interested communities take an active role in protecting the corridor.

Informs 2012 NCDOT feasibility study.

Transit Element of the Joint LRTP,
Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO and Capital Area MPO
2009 Recommends phased implementation of regional transit investments through 2035. Implementation of fixed-guideway and bus transit service recommendations require detailed technical and financial analysis. Jointly adopted by the two MPOs.

Informs COR 2010 study and forms basis for Triangle Transit Alternatives Analysis.

S. West Street Extension Alternatives Study,
City of Raleigh
May 2010 This alternatives analysis was prepared to address construction costs, impacts, and feasibility of providing extension of South West Street, including a grade separated crossing of NS and NCRR rail tracks in the vicinity of the proposed multimodal center.

Forms basis for COR NEPA study of West Street Extension.

Union Station: Raleigh's Multi-Modal Transit Center, Partnership: City of Raleigh, NCDOT Rail Division September 2010 A feasibility study that reevaluated the ridership, physical location, and development strategy for a multimodal facility near the Boylan Wye. Proposes a phased implementation of Union Station, an 82,000 square foot multimodal center in Downtown Raleigh. The facility is planned to accommodate multiple modes of transportation: intercity passenger rail, SEHSR, regional commuter rail, local light rail, commercial and local bus service, taxi, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Presented a conceptual program and functional plan for Union Station.

Informs 2012 NCDOT feasibility plan.

Triangle Regional Transit Program Transitional Analysis,
Triangle Transit
2010 Analyzes and prioritizes fixed-guideway transit corridors from the adopted 2035 Joint LRTP to be studied in further detail in an Alternatives Analysis (AA) process. The Wake Corridor is identified as one of the high-priority corridors. Priority corridors ratified by both MPOs.

Forms basis for Triangle Transit Alternatives Analysis, 2011.

Durham-Wake County Corridor Alternatives Analysis,
Triangle Transit
July 2011 A follow-up to the Transitional Analysis, this study provides analysis of a commuter rail service between Durham, Raleigh and Garner within the existing rail corridor.
The study recommends a platform adjacent to the Viaduct Building property. It is awaiting adoption by local MPOs.

Incorporated into Wake County Transit Plan.

Proposed Raleigh Station and Track Configuration -Feasibility Study,
January 2012 Analyzed the possibility of the adaptive reuse of the existing Viaduct Building into a passenger rail facility. Study results determined that the facility could serve as the first phase of the overall Union Station concept and recommended a 10% design for a new station and platforms which accommodate and enhance freight operations and emergency response vehicles; provides capacity for current and future passenger traffic (intercity, commuter, and SEHSR); and minimizes or eliminates at-grade crossings for trains, vehicles, and pedestrians.

Forms basis for NCDOT NEPA study for Station and Track elements and is the impetus for 2012 TIGER application.

Wake County Transit Plan,
Wake County
2012 Using information from TTA's Alternatives Analysis and the COR's Bus Plan, this plan recommends a two-pronged approach to meeting increasing transit needs in the County: the Core Transit Plan which expands local and commuter bus service and builds a rush-hour commuter rail service; and the Enhanced Transit Plan which builds light rail service from downtown Cary through downtown Raleigh to Millbrook Road. Proposes two revenue sources: a half-cent sales tax, which must be approved by voters and an increase of $10 to vehicle registration fees. Awaiting adoption by County Commissioners. Upon adoption, the sales tax may be placed on the Nov. 6, 2012, ballot.

A successful referendum would provide an additional funding source for many future elements of the Union Station facility.

Southeast High Speed Rail-Richmond, VA to Raleigh, NC, Tier II DEIS, NCDOT Rail Division and Virginia DOT Rail Division On-going Proposes implementation of approximately 162 miles of high speed rail as part of an overall plan to extend high speed passenger rail service from the Northeast Corridor (Boston to Washington, DC) Southward through Virginia to Charlotte, NC. Proposes a platform location in Downtown Raleigh. On February 1, 2012 NCDOT released a Draft Recommendation Report that recommends alignment NC5 which was later endorsed by Raleigh City Council October 4, 2011.

Informs NCDOT Proposed Raleigh Station and Track Configuration -Feasibility Study, and NCDOT NEPA study for Station and Track elements.

Proposed Raleigh Station and Track Configuration NEPA Study,
On-going An ongoing environmental assessment of the proposed Raleigh Train Station the first phase of Union Station implementation), station site elements, related track, siding, and signal work. Finding of no significant impact (FONSI) expected December 2012.

Incorporated into 2012 TIGER application.

West Street Extension NEPA Study On-going An ongoing environmental assessment of the proposed extension of S. West Street and the grade-separated crossing of NS and NCRR rail tracks. This new crossing will enhance passenger and transit service, access, and mobility related to the functioning of the station.
FONSI expected April 2013.

Incorporated into 2012 TIGER application.

Raleigh Union Station Phase I TIGER Grant Application March 19, 2012 The City of Raleigh, state capital of North Carolina, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Triangle Transit (TTA), is requesting Federal TIGER funding to assist in the construction of the first phase of a multimodal transit center known as the "Raleigh Union Station."

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