Pic of the Week

Here’s a photo (click for larger) through the construction fencing at the GoRaleigh Transit Station. You can see the foundation (if that’s the correct term) for the bathrooms on the left and the start of the crew kiosk in the center. The kiosk will have the ticketing/information window, the office for the crew and security.

You can see more details on the city’s project page. They have a link to a webcam that’s set up across Hargett Street also.

If you were a fan of the large brick “facade” on Hargett, it was recently removed and really opens up the space in a big way now.

A video posted by Leo Suarez (@dtraleigh) on

GoRaleigh Station Renovation Groundbreaking on Feb. 19

From my inbox to yours.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane is the featured speaker for the GoRaleigh Station renovation groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at Moore Square Transit Mall, 214 S. Blount St. She will be joined by City Council member Corey Branch who is also the Raleigh Transit Authority’s Council liaison, and by Raleigh Transit Authority Chairman Jason Horne.

Formerly named Moore Square Station, the GoRaleigh Station renovation is scheduled to take nine to 12 months to complete. Renovations will improve the transit experience for riders in several ways, including expanded passenger waiting areas; new restroom facilities; a new information booth; Wi-Fi; real time passenger information; aesthetic improvements to the reconstructed courtyard and more. Visuals will be on-site to display the final project.

The new GoRaleigh station will be reflective of the new GoRaleigh brand. The goal is to enhance the future of transit in Raleigh and the Triangle by building a positive impression, not only with daily riders and commuters, but with the many visitors who frequent the city.

*Mayor McFarlane to Kick-off GoRaleigh Station Renovation Groundbreaking on Feb. 19

Municipography, Moore Square Transit Station, Smartphone Apps, and Smart Cards

Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.

There was a lot of transit talk at this week’s city council meeting. Presented to council were some 3D renderings of what the future Moore Square Bus Station could look like after its upcoming upgrade. Technology upgrades in downtown transit are also coming as money has shown up towards setting up a downtown Raleigh smartphone application and a smart card fare system for the CAT buses.

Moore Square Transit Station

Watch the video snippet above. If it doesn’t work for you, go here.

As part of the ongoing Downtown Bus Facilities Master Plan, Moore Square Transit Station is getting an upgrade. Jason Horne of the Raleigh Transit Authority and
the design team presented some new renderings of the station’s future. Construction could start as early as Spring 2015 on the now 26-year-old facility. Plans call for a new bathroom, security and ticketing office, more open, friendlier spaces, and and an additional lane for buses to handle more capacity.

Construction is estimated to take 14-18 months with the station being open throughout that time period. Here are a few slides from the presentation. Make sure to read the Raleigh Public Record’s article about the presentation and to see the rest of the slides and renderings.

Plans for the future Moore Square Transit Station

Plans for the future Moore Square Transit Station

Plans for the future Moore Square Transit Station

Downtown Smartphone App

Watch the video snippet above. If it doesn’t work for you, go here.

We definitely talk about parking a lot here. However, an initiative that I’m involved with to bring a smartphone app to downtown in order to help with any parking struggles has moved one step further. During the meeting, council approved $5,000 from a contingency fund to go towards the development of that app. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance will raise the rest of the money and see the app to completion.

Read more about our efforts here:

It’s never a bad time to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: Parking. I typically don’t fly the blog outside of downtown Raleigh but North Hills has something that’s very unique. I’m excited to announce that the Parking App Team that won last year’s DataPalooza, with roots in downtown Raleigh, has launched in North Hills.

*North Hills Smartphone App Will Include Parking Directions, Rumored World Peace

My team’s idea? To help people navigate urban areas, showing them the best possible parking locations and offering wayfinding to their end destination. Our smartphone application, still in the prototype phase, is the first step in implementing this process. We also have a nice list of features that will make the application very helpful.

*Parking In Downtown Raleigh May Get Easier Thanks To Open Data

Smart Cards for CAT Buses
As a final blurb that I think is worth mentioning, the city has received grant money from NCDOT to go towards a smart card fare system for CAT buses. Mentioned at the meeting, here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The Raleigh Transit Authority has adopted a priority of offering smartcard technology on CAT buses. The grant will allow a contactless, smartcard payment option to be installed on the fare boxes of the CAT bus fleet. Bus purchases will have fare boxes that will accommodate contactless smartcard and mobile ticketing applications. The total funding for the project is $378,440 90, which is 90 percent NCDOT grant funds and 10 percent City of Raleigh funds.

*City Receives Grant to Allow Smartcard Payment on Capital Area Transit Buses

Yay! Technology!

Ongoing Moore Square Transit Station Study Reveals Future Plans

Buses at the Moore Square Transit Station.

Last week at a public information session, plans for Raleigh Union Station and the Downtown Bus Facilities Master Plan were shown off and discussed. While Union Station gets all the press, see the updated renderings (via N&O), plans for the Moore Square Transit Station are now unfolding. With less pizzazz, and less progress, compared to Union Station the question of how downtown will handle the hub of Raleigh’s future bus system is very important.

The problem revolves around one question. How will the rail networks serving Raleigh Union Station compliment a future expanded bus network, and vice versa? Our current Moore Square Transit Station, the central hub of the Capital Area Transit system, is nearing capacity. If it were located near Union Station, there’s still not enough room to incorporate all the future routes and riders.

What planners are trying to figure out now is how to use bus terminals at both Union Station and Moore Square so that they compliment each other effectively. During the meeting last week, I took some photos of the current thoughts on how the Moore Square Station may evolve over time.

Click on this image below to see a possible solution for the current, near future, and long-term traffic flow of Moore Square Station. Excuse the blurry cam.

Possible future plans for the Moore Square Transit Station.

The first image shows the current layout and bus flow through the station. Buses turn in to the station on Martin Street and depending on the route, they either leave on Blount or Hargett Streets.

As the system grows and Union Station is worked on, Moore Square will have to accommodate more buses and routes before Union Station can alleviate some pressure. The second image shows how that could work. The inner lane can be expanded and converted to two-way. After removing some planters and parking, there actually is room to make that expansion work. I had to go and see that for myself and sure enough…

Moore Square Transit Station

With another lane for buses, capacity is increased. At the same time, the station is pretty much maxed out.

The third image shows what the future of Moore Square Station could be once Union Station is up and running with bus routes circulating here and there. The one-way street and connection from the station to Blount can be removed, leaving only the two-way lane for buses.

There is still lots of work to do with planning routes, which stations they will serve, and how to effectively connect both Union Station and Moore Square Station. This just shows that Union Station could be one piece of a major transit network overhaul in Raleigh’s future.

New Seating and Space At The Moore Square Bus Station

Recently, construction has finished on some new walkways and seating areas at the Moore Square bus station. The fountains that used to go along the sidewalks of Blount Street have been bricked over and now have a few more benches. More amenities are always welcome at the busiest transit stop in Raleigh. As a frequent bus rider, I see the station being pretty busy at the rush hour times during the week.

In the future, the station will become a major compliment to Union Station so look out for more improvements.