New Hanover County Launches Educational Trails and Transit Website – Communications and Outreach – Communications and Outreach
New Hanover County Launches Educational Trails and Transit Website
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, North Carolina – A quarter-cent transit sales tax will appear on the November 2022 ballot for New Hanover County citizens, and the county has created a website – TrailsTransitNHC.com – to provide information educational material on the potential uses of sales tax and why public transit is important to the community.
The referendum for a quarter-cent sales tax to be used for public transport systems will appear as a yes or no vote in the Nov. 8 ballot. The purpose of the local tax would be to provide a dedicated source of revenue to expand and improve our community’s networks for cycling, walking and public transit. The tax would amount to about 25 cents per $100 spent by visitors, commuters and residents, and the tax would not apply to items like groceries, fuel and prescriptions.
The objectives of the tax would be to connect people to jobs and education; develop reliable and efficient bus service and on-demand public transit; improving footpath connections and pedestrian safety; improve community health and have a positive impact on the environment; leverage local dollars to leverage more state and federal funds to improve public transportation and rail realignment; and plan for the growth and future of our community.
“Having personal mobility, being able to easily and safely get to where you need to go, and creating a more walkable and bikeable community is important to the growth and health of our community,” said Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr. who helps lead the sales tax education campaign. “The transportation sales tax could have a significant impact on residents, provide access where it currently does not exist, and improve life in New Hanover County so everyone can go ahead and go again. further away.”
During the first five years of sales tax, opportunities for improvement could include:
- More than 10 miles of new multi-use pathways, five additional sidewalks, and nine improved intersections and crosswalks across the city and county, with additional bicycle and pedestrian connectivity projects in beach communities that could also be funded.
- Increase in bus frequency so that more than half of Wave Transit routes run every 30-45 minutes, additional hours for buses and microtransit of 16 hours per week, improved bus stops with 17 new ones benches, 10 new shelters and signs at the 10 busiest stops to show bus arrival times in real time, new technology for passenger access and free youth passes.
- The Rail Realignment Project is working on Front Street South to relocate part of the rail line and make pedestrian improvements for better transportation access.
“Having a dedicated source of funding would allow us to create a more efficient transport system that operates more often and for longer hours so that we can have more passenger choices, take cars off the road and ensure that those who depend get the service and speed they need,” Barfield continued. “This would provide more opportunities for residents who want to walk or cycle to easily connect to a bus stop, reach a business, or visit a quality of life asset like a park or library – resulting in greater connectivity, increased physical activity, and healthier lifestyles.And it gives the county and city the opportunity to raise funds for state and federal dollars for big, impactful projects like the realignment of the railroad.
If approved by voters in November and levied by the Board of Commissioners, the sales tax will be implemented in April 2023.
Additional information on potential transit sales tax projects, frequently asked questions, and a map of the project can be viewed at TrailsTransitNHC.com.
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