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This article was written for our sponsor,   Raleigh Chamber Foundation

Image Attribution: Conceptual rendering of Wake Bus Rapid Transit station developed by Neighboring Concepts for City of Raleigh

Raleigh Chamber Foundation has received a grant from the City of Raleigh to engage and support small businesses while construction for a Bus Rapid Transit line occurs along New Bern Avenue. This series of articles will spotlight some businesses along the route.

WakeMed, a community leader with a legacy dating back to 1961, delivers exceptional patient care and actively engages in initiatives that contribute to the community’s overall health, well-being, and quality of life.

The New Bern Avenue bus rapid transit (BRT) route will connect downtown Raleigh with WakeMed and New Hope Road. The introduction of BRT services is expected to bring many advantages, from improved transportation options to fostering connections within the community and beyond. The impact is likely to ripple through several aspects of daily life for students, employees, and residents in the Southeast Raleigh area.

“Every patient and every citizen on the New Bern Corridor deserves an exceptional quality of life, and WakeMed works tirelessly to ensure our patients have access to healthcare and other essential services like transportation,” said Kristin Kelly, senior specialist of marketing and communications at WakeMed.

Connection to essential services

One of the primary benefits emphasized by WakeMed is the enhanced connectivity bus rapid transit will offer to essential services and institutions. With BRT seamlessly integrating with existing bus routes, residents throughout Raleigh and beyond will gain improved access to healthcare services provided by WakeMed, Alliance Medical Ministries, Wake County Public Health, and other institutions.

Students, parents, and staff from educational institutions like Enloe High School, Wake Early College of Health and Sciences and Wake Technical Community College will experience a significant boost in transportation options.

Transforming commutes for Wake County communities

The implementation of BRT on New Bern Avenue is anticipated to extend its positive impact beyond the immediate corridor residents, reaching neighboring municipalities to the east. The BRT system’s improved commuter options are poised to create more convenient connections for employees commuting to major job centers like WakeMed.

WakeMed, as the largest non-government employer in Wake County, can reap substantial benefits from the introduction of a fast, comfortable, dependable BRT system. This enhancement in transportation infrastructure is not only viewed as a convenience but is also deemed crucial for the thousands of WakeMed employees who rely on efficient transportation for their daily commutes.

Existing ridership and economic returns

Recognizing New Bern Avenue as the city’s second-largest bus ridership corridor, Kelly expressed confidence in the full utilization of BRT.

“Thousands of WakeMed patients already use GoRaleigh services to get to our campus,” Kelly said.

“A full BRT vehicle will provide a great visual example of how investments in transportation provide a high rate of return on taxpayer dollars.”

The correlation between increased ridership and economic returns underscores the far-reaching benefits that well-designed and accessible public transportation systems can bring to individuals and the broader community.

“We’ve been fortunate to experience firsthand the fabric that ties together this community—the growth, the high quality of life, and the remarkable people and places that continue to flourish here—and we are excited for the future of BRT along the New Bern Corridor,” Kelly said.

WakeMed, in collaboration with the City of Raleigh, Wake County, and community partners, envisions a transformative revitalization of the New Bern Avenue corridor. The organization recognizes the positive impact that this transportation system will have on the well-being and quality of life of its patients, employees, and neighboring residents. With its seamless integration into existing bus routes and the potential to create employment opportunities, bus rapid transit is positioned to contribute to the overall growth and development of the region.

This article was written for our sponsor,   Raleigh Chamber Foundation

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