Wake County

GoTriangle to levy $3 vehicle registration fee increase in Wake

GoTriangle, a regional transportation authority, will increase a vehicle registration tax it levies on qualifying vehicles registered in Wake County on Aug. 1 to help fund the $2.3 million Wake County Transit Plan.

The GoTriangle Board of Trustees unanimously approved the fee increase from $5 to $8 Wednesday. It will go into effect about a month after Wake County will begin levying its own $7 vehicle registration tax for the same purpose.

GoTriangle’s $3 increase is one of several sources that will pay for a majority of the 10-year Wake County Transit Plan, which is expected to connect the Triangle with more buses and trains by 2027. The plan calls for commuter rail between Garner and Durham, as well as more and higher frequency bus routes throughout the county.

“There’s several revenue streams that are going to empower us to be able to provide transit to our region, and this is one of them,” GoTriangle Board of Trustees Chairwoman Jennifer Robinson said.

Other funding sources include a half-cent local sales tax that voters approved in November and the $7 county vehicle registration tax that Wake commissioners approved in December. Funding also will come from a 5 percent tax on vehicle rentals in Wake, Durham and Oranges counties that GoTriangle already levies.

These revenue sources are expected to generate $91 million the first year, with a majority coming from the half-cent sales tax.

GoTriangle is considering a work plan for fiscal year 2017-18 that would dictate how money collected from these revenue sources from July 2017 through June 2018 would be used. The public can comment on the draft work plan until April 3 at www.waketransit.com/fy18-work-plan/.

“We are a growing, vibrant region,” said Mike Charbonneau, GoTriangle’s director of communications. “At a time when many cities of our size usually equate commuting with congestion, pollution and frustration, the projects built under the Wake County Transit Plan will provide essential transportation links and choices that are designed to help commuters bypass traffic and get to their destinations quickly.”

If the draft plan is approved, most of the funding from the first year of revenue collections would go toward capital projects and establishing a funding reserve. It also would pay for planning, staff and increased transit operations.

The plan also outlines proposed bus service improvements that can be made starting this year without needing new buses, including extending routes later into the night and adding midday and weekend trips to regional, Raleigh and Cary routes.

Additional trips would be added to GoTriangle’s Route 100 and Route 300, which run from downtown Raleigh to the Regional Transit Center in Durham and from downtown Raleigh to downtown Cary respectively; Raleigh’s Route 7 from Moore Square Station to Garner; and several Cary routes that serve major destinations such as downtown, Crossroads Plaza and WakeMed.

Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon