Transportation in North Carolina

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International/regional airports[edit]

Commercial Airports in North Carolina


Amtrak service in North Carolina
to New York via Carolinian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star
Rocky Mount
to Savannah via Palmetto, to Miami via Silver Meteor
Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (proposed)
Raleigh Piedmont north terminus
State Fair (conditional)
Southern Pines
to Tampa via Silver Star
Hillsborough (future)
to New York via Crescent
High Point
Lexington (conditional)
Charlotte Piedmont, Carolinian south terminus
to New Orleans via Crescent

Not all services stop at all listed stations. See the
service or station articles for details.

Amtrak operates several passenger rail lines in North Carolina. Each train is daily except the Piedmont which is twice-daily.

The state subsidizes both the Piedmont and Carolinian intercity rail between Raleigh and Charlotte and serving the Research Triangle. Amtrak has announced a third subsidized train that will run between Raleigh and Charlotte. This train will run midday to complement the Piedmont and Carolinian and include stops in Greensboro, Burlington, and High Point. There is also the Crescent which runs from New York to Atlanta during the early morning before dawn.

The planned Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor includes service along the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad mainline, which is now CSX's underutilized "S" line, north of Raleigh, and the North Carolina Railroad lines south of Raleigh currently used by the Carolinian and Piedmont services.

Mass transit[edit]

LYNX light rail car in Charlotte

Several cities are served by mass transit systems.

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) operates a historical trolley line and 76 bus and shuttle routes serving Charlotte and its satellite cities. In 2007 it opened the LYNX light rail line connecting Charlotte with suburban Pineville. There are future plans to expand LYNX Light Rail as well as implementation of Commuter Rail and Streetcar.

Raleigh is serviced by the Capital Area Transit (CAT). CAT also operates a historical trolley line giving tours of the historic areas of Downtown Raleigh and other areas of interest in the Capital City. It operates 31 bus routes and a downtown circulator called the R-Line which services the entertainment and shopping areas of Downtown Raleigh. N.C. State University within the City of Raleigh operates its own bus line named the Wolfline to provide service to the university's students and employees.

The Fayetteville Area System of Transit (FAST) serves the city with ten bus routes and two shuttle routes.

The Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the Triangle region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill; recent efforts to build a light rail from downtown Raleigh to downtown Durham have gained traction as both Orange and Durham couunties have instituted a local sales tax and the NCDOT has committed to funding construction of a light rail system.

Greensboro is serviced by the Greensboro Transit Authority (GTA), which operates 14 bus routes. Additionally, the Higher Education Area Transit (HEAT) system provides service to students who attend the following institutions: Bennett College, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina A&T State University, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The HEAT service provides transportation between campuses and various other destinations, including downtown Greensboro.

Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA) operates 30 bus routes around the city of Winston-Salem; additionally, WSTA recently completed construction of a central downtown mult-modal transportation center with 16 covered bus bays adjacent to a large enclosed lobby/waiting area. There are future plans being discussed for a $52 million streetcar system connecting Piedmont Triad Research Park/Downtown with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) is the Triad's 10-county regional organization with the goal of enhancing all forms of transportation through regional cooperation. PART Express Bus provides express shuttle service to each major Triad city from Piedmont Triad International Airport, while Connections Express connects the Triad to Duke and UNC Medical Centers. PART is also administering and developing several rail service studies that include both commuter and intercity rail.

Wilmington's Wave Transit operates six bus lines within the city as well as five shuttles to nearby areas and a downtown trolley.

In July 2008, Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority began serving Burke, Caldwell, Catawba and Alexander counties in the region just west of Charlotte, and include the cities of Conover, Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton,and Taylorsville.[1]

Jacksonville recently began a trial bus system called the LOOP, which runs two routes through the city and nearby Camp Lejeune. But this loop has yet to be made permanent.

Asheville operates the Asheville Transit System, which consists of sixteen bus lines[2] providing service throughout the City of Asheville and to Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Major highways[edit]

The North Carolina Highway System consists of a vast network of Interstate Highways, U.S. Highways, and state highways. North Carolina has the largest state-maintained highway network in the United States, with 77,400 miles (124,600 km) of roadway.[3]


  1. ^ Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Asheville Redefines Transit, Maps & Schedules
  3. ^ Hartgen, David T.; Karanam, Ravi K. (2007). "16th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems" (PDF). Reason Foundation. p. 8. Retrieved 2007-10-20.