The Piedmont Triad has approached transportation planning on the regional level beginning with the creation of the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation in 1998. Over the past 20 years here have been numerous studies on congestion, growth, transit services and passenger rail in the region. The conclusions have all been the same. As a region we will continue to grow and with that comes increased congestion on major highways, longer commutes and higher transportation costs. Read our History of Regional Planning Efforts (PDF).
The Number 1 Challenge
In 2012, as part of the Piedmont Together project. more than 290 people attended the 13 civic forums held across the region. Over 200 ideas were generated focusing on the strengths and challenges within the region. Of note, the Top Challenge identified in the region was the Lack of Transportation Options. There are two reports that summarize the civic forums, a county by county summary and an analysis of the results.
The lack of transportation choices is causing families and businesses economic hardship in the region, causing difficulty for many to access jobs or talent, shopping, education, and medical services.
- Less than half (only 44%) the Piedmont Triad population has access to transit services. This figure is calculated using the population within the transit catchment area or "rideshed." Past survey data, which gathered the direction and distance people drive to PART Park & Ride lots to catch transit, was paired with a quarter mile buffer around urban and suburban bus stop in cities to create the entire region’s rideshed. In a very general sense, the population living in this area is considered to have access to transit.
- Of those who have access to transit, only 1.7% take advantage of the services.
- 31% of workers in the region commute to a job outside of their county of residence. 54% of all jobs in the region are located in Guilford and Forsyth counties.
- On average, local residents spend 29% or $1,052 of their monthly household income on transportation costs.
- There is a lack of stable local funding sources to address these challenges.