Raleigh BRT Rendering

Wake County’s First Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Passes Critical Hurdle 

Federal Transit Authority Rates Wake BRT: New Bern Avenue “Medium-High”

The City of Raleigh is pleased to announce the Wake Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): New Bern Avenue project has received an overall "Medium-High" rating from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  This marks another crucial step in the implementation of Wake County’s first BRT Corridor. No less than a “Medium” rating is needed to be eligible for future federal funding.  The ratings information was released Feb. 11 by the FTA through the Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2021.

The City of Raleigh, GoRaleigh submitted the Wake BRT: New Bern Avenue project into the FTA Small Smarts program in August of 2019.  GoRaleigh proposes to implement BRT along the 5.1-mile corridor of New Bern Avenue connecting the Raleigh central business district with the WakeMed Raleigh Campus and New Hope Road.  

The project includes construction of:

  • About 3.3 miles of new dedicated transit infrastructure improvements between GoRaleigh Station in downtown Raleigh and the WakeMed Campus at Sunnybrook Road,
  • About 1.8 miles of service in general traffic lanes between Sunnybrook Road and New Hope Road,  
  • Transit signal priority at signalized intersections throughout the 5.1-mile corridor and ten weather-protected BRT stations.

All BRT stations will be designed to include BRT specific branding, off-board fare payment, level boarding platforms, real-time bus arrival information, schedule and route information, and universal ADA accessibility.  The terminus at New Hope Road will serve a proposed Park and Ride and transfer facility that is a separately funded project.

Small Starts projects are rated independently on two broad categories, Financial Commitment and Project Justification.  The New Bern Avenue project received an overall project rating of “Medium-High”.  The project rating does not provide funding for the project but it does clear the way for future federal participation in the corridor.  The project submittal requested approximately 50 percent in federal Small Starts funding for the estimated $71.5 million project.     


There are many important partners helping to make BRT a reality for our region, including the Wake County Transit Planning Advisory Committee, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, GoTriangle, North Carolina Congressional leaders, the Wake County Board of Commissioners, and Raleigh City Council.