Raleigh, NC Has New Transit Center

A GUARDIAN reader was nice enough to send us a link to a story about a new transit center in
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina along with a story about their new DOWNTOWN CIRCULATOR which of course is a rubber tire vehicle as instead of steel rail buried in the street.

As for the transit center, it looks like it takes care of cross country buses, taxis, local buses and of course, the downtown circulator. Lots of TRANSIT CENTER pictures and it apparently only cost about $15 million.

Certainly beats trying to squeeze some inadequate cobbled together piece of junk into Boise’s Tenth Street! No one needs to travel to Durham to see this, their are plenty of picture right here and a couple of phone calls will do the trick.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Thanks for posting that BG and thanks to whomever submitted it. But, what the heck is with the photos? The resolution is horrible. I just don’t get why the legacy media can’t web publish higher quality pics. I do it with a 4 year old 2 megapixel digital camera and post them to a competing forum, SSP, and I can do it in a matter of minutes.

    Ok, I’ll drop the tangental rant. I like what Durham has done, but that lot appears to be a much larger lot than what Boise has in the near downtown area. It also helps that Durham has Amtrak and the station is right accross the street.

    For a better look through old picture, type in “Amtrak St, Durham, NC” into the google maps search box. Sorry, don’t know how to make a direct link to google maps results.

  2. Why don’t they put the proposed transit center in empty lot where they keep trying to put a convention center thatBoise doesn’t need and doesn’t want.

  3. If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that we co-opt and improve upon an already proven solution developed elsewhere.

    Damn! Why hasn’t anyone proposed such a sensible approach to solving our problems before, instead of continuing to subscribe to the near pathological need to reinvent the wheel?

    Oh, that’s right. I have. Repeatably.

    “Just because a fool says it’s raining doesn’t mean the sun is shining” ~Unknown

  4. hmm..replace the existing Greyhound facility anyone? I also think the dirt in and around 15th-12th, between Front and Myrtle would look real good as a fully functioning transit-transfer solution.

  5. The Durham transit center looks nice and does the R-Line(rubber wheeled circulator). I also like the BRT (bus rapid transit) solutions that I have been reading about. In the transportation industry, the problem with rails- they only go where they are placed the first time. It does not allow for the flexibility as a rubber tire circulator might. I think Boise proposed loop for their fixed track trolley, is short sided and does not include enough territory. Look at the R-Line in Durham, it is a nice 3 mile loop instead of Boise’s narrow strip.

    I received a mailing today regarding the open house for the Transit Center. It clearly list both proposed locations, but seem to give a bigger billing to the 10th Street site. The brochure said the 10th Street option came after the May 2008 openhouse and that all interested parties had been contacted or input on the new site. It neglected to say all that happened in the course of about 5 days.

  6. “it looks like it takes care of cross country buses, taxis, local buses and of course, the downtown circulator.”

    If we had all those things, *then* there might be some reason we’re even considering and discussing a transit center.
    But we don’t.

  7. P.S.
    Durham has at least three times the population of Boise.

  8. Hmmm … After making those comments, I clicked on the “Circulator” link in the Durham story and got, “Raleigh starts downtown circulator.”

    Guess I don’t know geography very well, but had thought Durham and Raleigh were *not* the same town. ???

    So I clicked on the “Transit Center” link in the Durham story, and got “New Modernistic Durham Bus Station Opens Monday” with lots of pictures of the big flash cube (kind of like the one in Boise, only walls appear to curve), but no mention of a transit center, and no mention of any Circulator.

    Kinda looks like you took two stories about two towns and stirred them up in a bowl and then poured them into the Guardian site.

    EDITOR NOTE– You are correct. Two projects, two stories, both related.

  9. Oh my!! And to think, serving the citizens of and visitors to Ada and Canyon Counties is not the motivator for Valley Regional Transit/ValleyRide. The involvement/support by executive and management staff of VRT/ValleyRide is nothing more than another aspect of Ms Fairless the Executive Director furthering her personal agenda and career. It maybe poetic justice that she may even “throw under the bus” her sidekick, the contracted General Manager (Schneider) at the Boise operation. This sad excuse for a GM (no he is not an employee of VRT or ValleyRide – Ms. Fairless declared there to be no one in SW Idaho qualified for the position) has no transit experience as a General Manager; he has no applicable experience in operations, budgeting, strategic management, human resource management or fleet maintenance experience. This individual spent twelve months (2007-2008) designing the specifications for 4-20 passenger vans that were deemed by his contracted Maintenance expert of choice, (September 2008 and beyond), will be obsolete in less than 5 years (trust me he will blame someone else). The vans have been parked at the Orchard Street yard for 4 months and are still being retrofitted in order to be functional. Just what Boise transit needed 4-20 passenger vans – rather than coaches/buses to serve the growing public transit community.

    Maybe the contracted GM was distracted by only working 6 hours or less a day at ValleyRide, and teaching a political science class in 2007 and throughout 2008 at BSU during the work day rather than being available at ValleyRide. It is amazing that one class requires being away 3 or more hours each day a class was/is taught (two days per week). I didn’t see this provision in the PTM (Professional Transit Management) contract.

    Then again, maybe that is why Ms. Fairless hired a $100k Transportation Manager since she no longer wants to “deal” with the ValleyRide Boise or Nampa operations. She has such a stellar track record.

    Hmmmmm, actually, she’s got her blueprint ready for advancing her career while there is inadequate staffing of experienced operators and equipment at the Boise location. Fixed-line operators are working 13-15 hours per day, with obsolete equipment no rest breaks, and are be subjected to an inexperienced, unprofessional operations supervisor that is harassing the operators (women in particular) if they stop for a potty-break and run a minute or two behind schedule (pulling-out from a location). Forget rest periods and a quick lunch for any of the operators, and forget common sense, it just isn’t part of the ValleyRide Boise management mentality. No operator should be “mandated” to work more than 12 hours per day, particularly without a 30-minute rest period during the first eight hours of the day. When you have individuals working 140 to 160 hours in a two-week period (time records and other operators will confirm this to be absolutely true), something is definitely wrong. You ask, what about the safety of the operators and passengers???? Not a part of the ValleyRide management agenda. You worry about the operator’s health and well-being – yep, there are many operators with reoccurring urinary, bladder, and kidney health issues due to the lack of opportunity to relieve themselves as nature requires. There is a high absentee rate due to total “burn-out” and for the next two months (March-April) due to the change in weather and seasons, there is a cyclical high rate of illness due to colds, allergy, URI, etc. Thank goodness the Boise area has some of the best (and safest) operators in the business!!!

    One must wonder why this inexperienced salary individual (an operations supervisor with no transit experience) is being allowed to drive a public vehicle to and from his home at the expense of the taxpayers??? But then again, money is no object, and considering the Executive Director has stated on the record “Let them suffer” referring to the hourly employees of ValleyRide-Boise, why should we be surprised by the blatant perpetual wrong doings of the VRT/ValleyRide management?


    EDITOR NOTE– We were hesitant to post this comment, but with prior knowledge of major labor-management issues at Valley Transit and knowing “officials” have much better access to the media
    then the workers, we decided to post. We invite responses from any of those mentioned or official comment in response.

  10. Ladies and gentlemen I give you… Government run agencies! Lets expand!!!

  11. I wouldn’t ordinarily respond to someone like Suzy Smyth, but this time I will. There are way too many anonymous personal hatchet jobs posted on the Guardian lately.

    I don’t know who Smyth is, but since the link to her/his name is COMPASS and there is no staff member by that name, I, nor anyone else, know who this person really is. I’m not even going to guess and I’m really not going to read the post in any depth.

    If someone is going to make accusations like Suzy he/she did, then at least have the courage to do it under your own name so that the readers know where the bias is coming from.

  12. Tom Anderson
    Feb 26, 2009, 12:27 am

    I would hope that an uninterested 3rd party would immediately demand an investigation into the allegations of drivers working 14 to 16 hour days. If that proves true, then we need to question workers and find out what is going on.

    I don’t find it a stretch that SMYTH might be telling the truth. Public transit serves the most vulnerable people in our society, and there often seems to be a correlation between poor people and bad service.

    Seems SMYTH hit a raw nerve with Sara who states “I’m really not going to read the post in any depth”, implying an indignant reaction to something she didn’t even read yet, curious…

    EDITOR NOTE–Tom, you have hit the nail on the head. As we explained in the editor note, we made the post because the transit outfit needs to have some outside auditing. We have made attempts to get top officials to call for an audit to no avail.

  13. Jon Q Publique
    Feb 26, 2009, 9:12 pm


    Several points about the Suzy Smyth comments.

    1) Many comment on this site using a cover name. One reason might be is that if they are insiders they may have valid concerns about reprisals. Suzy appears to have some pretty interesting information from some source about the goings on at VRT.

    2) That VRT has serious labor problems, both Union and non – Union, is documented in their own consultant’s report. There has been a personnel revolving door there for years. A number of people on this site over the past year or so also have noted the personel problems at VRT.

    3) Take the time to read the article in depth. Sure, it’s long. Enlighten yourself. Think about what’s being said. Bias? Perhaps. But then are you not biased by assuming the writer is biased?

    4) Perhaps the link to COMPASS is there more to make people aware of the proposed Downtown Multi Modal Center project than as a link to a personal website. There are two basic questions with the Multi Modal Center project. The first is “what’s the rush?” Second is “why do we need it” (other than Boise got some earmarked funds)?

    And no, I don’t know who Suzy Smyth really is either, however, reader comments to a recent Statesman article about the Multi Modal Center also contained some remarks that were less than kind about VRT management and appeared to come from someone who had inside information.

  14. No John. My point is that the cloak of anonymity leads to very nasty writings. Suzy Q could have made the same points but if he/she had used their own name, they might have toned down their nastiness a little or not, but at least that would have been showing a little courage.

    And having the URL go to Compass tells us what exactly?

    Let’s see if Suzy Q actually does what he/she is encouraging others to do, show up at a meeting and voice their concerns. I suspect that will not happen however.

  15. Tom Anderson
    Feb 27, 2009, 10:28 am

    Sara. Why do you find it reasonable to ask someone else to reveal their true identity if you will not do the same first?

    Idaho is a ‘good ol boy’ State where failure to act like a scared slave in the workplace destroys your employment prospects. Who in their right mind would reveal their real name when they could face the prospect of being fired and tossed out into the current job market that is in a death spiral?

    I’d rather get 100 bits of information by anonymous people than only 1 ‘courageous person’ lead.

  16. Connie Hansen
    Feb 27, 2009, 5:39 pm

    For Sara’s benefit, I am posting my real name and that I was employed by Valley Regional Transit aka ValleyRide (Boise operation) as the Human Resources Manager for 14 months, until October 2008. I am one of Tom Anderson’s examples of being “tossed out into the current job market that is in a death spiral” so I have little left to lose by being straightforward with my identity. I believe in honesty and integrity in whatever an individual attempts to undertake; being true to those values, I have paid a substantial price with my career.

    I believe Suzy was wrongly attacked for stating her position, and I say “BRAVO” to Jon Q. Publique and Tom Anderson for standing true to the value(s) and spirit of this forum.

    I have no idea who Suzy Smyth is or the anonymous Sara; there is no Sara or Suzy working at the ValleyRide Boise operation. As I read Suzy’s commentary, the target is Valley Regional Transit and ValleyRide (Boise) not COMPASS. Anonymity was essential for Suzy in this situation. To avoid retaliatory action by VRT or ValleyRide management, and obviously others who took exception to her words, she chose the safe route for communicating her concerns. Under the circumstances, I feel she demonstrated great courage by sharing this information, and contrary to Sara’s opinion, she did not present her viewpoint as a “nasty writing.”

    I have the advantage of being able to collaborate most of the concerns outlined in Suzy Smyth’s exhaustive document. Unfortunately, she only touched the tip of the iceberg.

    The editor of this venue is invited to contact me.

  17. I had assumed that most everyone knew that “Sara” is our newest member of ACHD. She is normally a very straight shooter and seems eager to “turn over the rocks” in the ACHD, as well as other agencies.
    It makes perfect sense to me that Suzy doesn’t want her identity known. I would wager that she would be shortly “on the street” if she did so. It would seem to me that Suzy has leveled enough charges to at least warrant some type of investigation. If half of what she charges is true, it would take about 30 minutes to find it out. Talk to the drivers, look at the time sheets, imnterview the leadership. This ain’t rocket science folks!

  18. Connie, I have heard from some bus drivers that ValleyRide management has yet to sign a labor agreement with the Union even though terms of a new labor agreement were reached a year or two ago. Would you know if this is true or not?

    If it’s true could you please shed some light on that situation?

  19. Mike Murphy
    Feb 28, 2009, 3:06 am

    It’s saddening to see that the status quo has degenerated to such a point that such a thing as due diligence is considered radical and debatable.

    Kleptocracy or jackassery incarnate.

    And if you vote for more of the same, please don’t complain when you get more of the same.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: