Two years ago, Wake County voters approved a half-cent sales tax to help fund a $2 billion transit improvement plan. While the large-scale projects are still in planning phases, riders have noticed smaller improvements.
The tax generates close to $90 million per year, but nearly all of that money has yet to be spent. That's because the bigger projects like commuter rail and bus rapid transit need significant planning and preparation work before construction can start. But officials say smaller steps went into effect more quickly.
"Service that was running 60 minutes, we increased that to every 30 minutes. Service that was on Saturdays, we had those start on Sundays," says Wake Assistant County Manager Nicole Kreiser.
When completed, Wake transit leaders say that more than half of all homes, and four out of five jobs, will be within walking distance of a public transit option. That will come through a vast increase of the bus route network, says Kreiser.
"Transit provides choices to our community. It helps you get to your job, it helps you get to health care, it helps you get to school," she says.