Letters to the Editor

Sig Hutchinson: Commuter rail for Triangle

Regarding Rob Christensen’s Feb. 1 column “ Raleigh needs buses, not light rail”: There is a significant and important difference between light rail and the other proposed option within the transit plan of commuter rail.

Whereas light rail is designed for urban settings with smaller trains, shorter distances between stations and more frequent trips, commuter rail is designed to run farther and faster and is a much better fit for our sprawling suburban growth patterns. Commuter rail costs much less than light rail, can be completed in a shorter time frame and runs on existing rail lines.

It also travels along existing clogged commuter corridors such as I-40 to help relieve traffic congestion and deliver commuters to desirable designations such as RTP, Durham, Cary and downtown Raleigh. This provides more choices and less traffic for everyone, including those who continue to drive.

The Wake County Transit Plan Advisory Committee also saw commuter rail as a viable option when seven of the nine teams selected commuter rail as part of their designed transit plan.

Buses will always be the major part of any new transit plan for Wake County, but let’s not forget other forms of transit such as commuter rail that could also be a viable part of the solution.

Sig Hutchinson, Wake County commissioner