Approved Service Changes
GoTriangle’s Board of Trustees voted Wednesday, April 24, to approve proposed service improvements for fiscal year 2020. Based on public feedback that GoTriangle received through April 24, some of the previous proposals have changed. In addition, proposed fare changes that had been scheduled to go into effect in August will be delayed until early 2020 to coincide with plans to introduce mobile ticketing. The board and staff members are still working on the fare details.
Highlight of Changes
RTP service changes starting Aug. 4
- OnDemand services will be discontinued and replaced with “Transit Connect” - a partnership with Uber and Lyft.
- 311 – The route will be realigned to serve Kit Creek Road and Davis Drive.
New routes / park-and-rides
- North Raleigh Express (NRX) – New express route on I-540 will replace Route 201 starting Aug. 4.
- 310W – New service will be offered from the Regional Transit Center to Wake Tech's Research Triangle Park Campus.
- FRX – In spring 2020, a new park-and-ride lot will be built at Wake Technical Community College-Southern Wake Campus, replacing the park-and-ride at Hilltop Needmore Food Lion. This originally had been expected to start in fall 2019.
- Chapel Hill-Raleigh Express (CRX) – Hours of service will be expanded.
- Durham-Raleigh Express (DRX) – More trips during the day will provide consistent service every 15 to 20 minutes during peak hours.
- Robertson Scholars Express (RSX) – GoTriangle will no longer operate the service after the school year.
- 700 – Construction reroute will become a permanent route.
- 102 – GoRaleigh Route 20, an all-day weekday route with hourly service, will replace the GoTriangle route.
- Knightdale-Raleigh Express (KRX) – GoRaleigh Route 33, an all-day weekday route with hourly service, will replace the GoTriangle route.
In an effort to improve the passenger experience and regional coordination among transit agencies, GoTriangle, GoRaleigh and GoCary are working to make fare pricing structures, policies and technology offerings consistent across agencies.
Approved by the GoTriangle Board of Trustees on May 22, 2019, the fare change proposal has three components: pricing, policy and technology upgrades, including mobile ticketing.
Pricing and Policy Changes
Below is a table that illustrates GoTriangle’s current fare policy and the Board-approved changes which will coincide with the introduction of mobile ticketing and fare capping planned for early 2020.
*In order to improve the passenger experience and better coordinate with GoRaleigh, GoCary, and GoDurham, GoTriangle’s offering of free fare for Seniors (65+) will have an effective date of August 4, 2019.
Mobile ticketing, which allows payment using a smartphone, is expected to be available in early 2020.
Mobile ticketing eliminates the need for paper tickets and can help speed up the boarding process. This level of technology also allows transit agencies to administer fare capping. This involves tracking an individual customer’s purchases so that customers who buy single-day passes never spend more in a week or month than those who buy seven-day or 31-day passes. This benefit is particularly helpful for those who may not be able to buy more than a one-day pass at a time. Fare capping administered through mobile ticketing will automatically provide riders an extended pass once the payment threshold for the pass has been reached, allowing everyone to realize the same multi-ride savings.
Because of usage and customer feedback, the Go OnDemand pilot started in January 2018 would be discontinued and replaced with a new pilot program, “Transit Connect.”
Transit Connect Pilot
Transit Connect will provide the first/last mile connection to a public transit route and expand access to more locations within the designated RTP zone at all times of the day. The trip time would be competitive with current levels of service provided on fixed routes and OnDemand.
- Transit Connect will provide a subsidy of up to $10 for an Uber or Lyft trip within a defined Research Triangle Park zone for customers connecting to or from a public transit route weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 10:45 p.m.
- Customers would qualify for the subsidy if they use the Uber or Lyft app to request a ride that begins or ends within 100 feet of specified “connection points.” The second destination or origin can be any location within the RTP zone. The four connection points are:
- Regional Transit Center
- NC 54 at Alston Ave
- NC 54 at New Millennium Way
- TW Alexander Dr @ Stirrup Creek Dr
- The Transit Connect RTP zone is bordered by NC 55, I-540, Page Road, Lumley Road and Alston Avenue and includes the Regional Transit Center. GoTriangle Routes 800 and 805 and GoDurham Routes 12 and 15 serve bus stops within the RTP zone where customers can connect to a subsidized Uber or Lyft trip. Customers can also connect from Routes 100, 105, 300, 310W, 311, 700, 800, and 805 at the Regional Transit Center.
To improve ridership, Route 311 will serve Kit Creek Road and Davis Drive.
- Realigning the route to serve Kit Creek Road and Davis Drive will provide fixed-route service to employers such as Cisco, NetApp and Biogen.
- Service to EPA/NIEHS will be possible through Transit Connect, but no longer available on Route 311.
- There are no changes to the service along NC 55 and within Apex.
The following stops will no longer be served by Route 311, but customers can use Transit Connect to get to these places from other bus stops:
- Hopson Road at US EPA Campus (ID 1551)
- United States EPA-RTP Campus (ID 1550)
- Lakeview Drive at Nobel Lane - NIEHS Research Unit (ID 1436)
- Lakeview Drive at Nobel Lane - NIEHS (ID 1549)
- TW Alexander Drive at Environmental Parkway - NIEHS (1894)
- TW Alexander Drive at S Alston Avenue NIEHS (1895)
North Raleigh Express (NRX) Replaces 201
The NRX will provide new express service from Triangle Town Center to the Regional Transit Center (RTC) via I-540, with a second North Raleigh park-and-ride, making a fast trip between North Raleigh and the RTC.
The NRX replaces Route 201 to increase efficiency and enhance service options. New park-and-ride spaces would be available at Triangle Town Center at the bus stop near Sumner Boulevard and at a second park-and-ride lot at the Bent Tree Plaza shopping center at the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Strickland roads.
The change means stops at Capital Crossing Shopping Center and Pleasant Valley at Glenwood Road and the Shelley Lake Park-and-Ride and the Spring Forest Road at Millbrook Exchange Park Park-and-Ride will be replaced with the two new NRX park-and-ride lots.
This route will provide access to the new Wake Tech RTP campus and expand GoTriangle’s hours of service into the midday to provide more flexibility for those traveling outside peak commute hours.
- New service from the Regional Transit Center to the Wake Tech RTP campus will operate every 30 minutes on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- The route will serve bus stops in Perimeter Park.
- Later in FY20, the route will be expanded to connect the Regional Transit Center and Cary Depot via the Wake Tech RTP campus, providing a larger portion of Morrisville with all-day service.
Fuquay-Varina Express (FRX) (Wake Tech's Southern Wake Campus Park-and-Ride)
Once a new park-and-ride lot is built at Wake Tech’s Southern Wake Campus, GoTriangle will provide direct service from Fuquay-Varina to the campus and improve park-and-ride options. The Wake Tech park and ride lot was anticipated to be open the fall 2019, but has been delayed due to construction delays on unrelated road projects nearby.
- In spring 2020, a new park-and-ride lot at Wake Tech – Southern Wake Campus will replace the Hilltop Needmore Road Food Lion Park-and-Ride (Stop ID 1962).
- Customers will have a direct connection from the Fuquay-Varina South Park Community Center Park-and-Ride to the Southern Wake Campus at 9101 Fayetteville Road.
The CRX is one of GoTriangle’s most popular routes, and buses during the first departure of the afternoon often are full with standing room only. To improve on-time performance and enhance customer service, GoTriangle will make schedule changes that better match service to demand. In response to public comments, a proposal to eliminate the 5:50 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. CRX departures was discarded.
- GoTriangle will add a trip that leaves Chapel Hill at 3 p.m. and Raleigh at 3:25 p.m.
- Other minor schedule adjustments should improve on-time performance.
Durham-Raleigh Express (DRX)
The DRX is another one of GoTriangle’s most popular routes, and it can quickly fill up to standing room only. Adding trips to the DRX will provide more seats for customers and allow more frequent service that better matches the schedule to customer requests.
Thank you to all customers who provided comments about the DRX schedule in February 2019. Staff members considered the suggestions as they developed the schedule for this fall. Our goals are to provide consistent, frequent departures that match customer work schedules and timely connections to GoDurham and GoRaleigh routes.
Improvements in August will:
- Add buses to the route to provide additional departures every 15 to 20 minutes during the busiest times of the day and to alleviate overcrowding.
- Add a trip departing Raleigh at 7:30 a.m. and Durham at 8:15 a.m.
- Add a trip departing Durham at 4:45 p.m.
- Shift afternoon departures from Raleigh to better match ridership and provide 15 to 20 minute service between 4 and 5 p.m. That includes changing the 4:50 p.m. departure to 4:40 p.m. and the 5:10 p.m. departure to 4:55 p.m.
- Make other schedule changes to improve on-time performance.
Route 700 provides fast, direct service between Durham Station and the Regional Transit Center, where customers connect to other routes serving Raleigh, Cary and Chapel Hill. In 2016, construction on the Durham Freeway and Alston Avenue required a detour that caused Route 700 to bypass bus stops on Alston Avenue and Lawson Street, including Durham Technical Community College and McDougald Terrace. Ridership has remained high during the detour, and service has exceeded on-time performance targets. The new change will:
- Permanently implement the detour put into place in 2016. Customers can use GoDurham Route 8 to access Lawson Street and Durham Technical Community College and GoDurham Route 12 to access Alston Avenue.
Robertson Scholars Express (RSX)
In FY18, the RSX did not meet GoTriangle service standards during midday, evenings and weekends. It was an average performer during peak times while declining in ridership overall. The RSX duplicates GoTriangle Routes 400 and 405 within the U.S. 15-501 corridor.
- GoTriangle will no longer operate the Robertson Scholars Express service starting fall 2019. Customers are encouraged to contact the Robertson Scholars Foundation directly with any questions.
- GoTriangle would continue to provide service between Chapel Hill and Durham on Routes 400 and 405.
To better serve the rapidly growing Garner area, improvements will expand existing service to Garner by providing an all-day hourly weekday route through our community investment in the Wake County transit plan.
- Effective September 2019, GoTriangle Route 102, which currently serves Garner, will become GoRaleigh Route 20 with hourly all-day weekday service from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Weekend service is scheduled to begin in FY24.
Knightdale-Raleigh Express (KRX)
To better serve Eastern Wake County, plans will expand existing service to Knightdale by providing an all-day hourly weekday route, another community investment through the Wake County transit plan.
- Effective September 2019, GoTriangle’s Route KRX will become GoRaleigh Route 33: New Hope-Knightdale, providing hourly service from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
- Proposed Route 33 will connect Knightdale to the New Hope Commons shopping center, which is served by multiple bus routes. GoRaleigh Route 15-WakeMed operates every 15 minutes and will provide onward service to downtown Raleigh.
- Planning for a new East Raleigh Transit Center is underway, and it will be the connection location once completed. Weekend service will be added in FY23.
For more information about the proposed service, please visit GoRaleigh’s website.
Proposed Service Changes for Route DRX
We would like to express our appreciation to those who provided comments on the proposed schedule changes for the GoTriangle Durham-Raleigh Express (DRX) route. After considering these issues, GoTriangle has decided not to change the DRX schedule until August 2019 when we can holistically address the on-time performance, crowding and frequency of the service at one time.