Research Triangle Park, NC (Sept. 10, 2018) – With Hurricane Florence forecast to hit the United States on or near the North Carolina coast this week, GoTriangle and GoDurham managers are closely monitoring the storm and implementing plans that will keep customers fully informed if weather conditions warrant any service changes.
“We at GoTriangle and GoDurham are watching the forecast, tracking the hurricane and talking with local emergency personnel, and we will do everything we can to run service as long as it is safe to do so,” says Jeff Mann, GoTriangle CEO and president. “Safety is always our No. 1 priority for our riders and our employees. We encourage riders to sign up for email alerts and check service alerts on the gotriangle.org website, to download the TransLoc app if they haven’t already or to call our customer service department if there is ever any doubt about service as the storm plays itself out.”
Current storm projections show that the Triangle could experience heavy winds Wednesday night followed by heavy rains and sustained winds Thursday. On Monday, GoTriangle and GoDurham were making preparations, checking generators at operations centers and testing equipment on all buses.
For the first time, GoTriangle and GoDurham also are officially partnering with the Durham County Emergency Management department and making their buses, operators and dispatchers available to help with any necessary evacuations or supply deliveries.
“We’re more than a bus company,” says GoTriangle Director of Transit Operations Patrick Stephens. “We’re an important part of the community infrastructure, and we will be on standby to assist in any way needed.”
Stephens told his transit operations managers Monday that GoTriangle needs to be prepared to safely evacuate people in flooded areas or without power to shelters, to help get people with medical needs to appointments or to transport goods to shelters.
“We’ve got a wide-ranging scope of things we could be called upon to do,” he says. “However, none of that will happen without the dedication of GoTriangle’s team, and I know we all take our mission seriously.”
Winds, flooding and downed power lines and trees all could affect transit routes later this week, and the agencies will be working hard to keep riders informed, Mann says. In addition to monitoring gotriangle.org and godurhamtransit.org, transit customers can follow the agencies’ Twitter and Facebook accounts for service updates or any detours. Follow GoTriangle on Twitter at @GoTriangle and GoDurham at @GoDurhamTransit. The TransLoc app and triangle.transloc.com website offer real-time updates on when buses should arrive. Find other tips and information at gotriangle.org/weather.
Riders also can call the GoTransit Regional Information Center for updates and help at 919-485-7433.
If the Triangle were to experience sustained 45 mph winds, bus operations could be suspended for safety reasons, so riders should always check before heading to a stop, Stephens says.
On Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper asked for a federal disaster declaration on behalf of North Carolina to ensure the state can get federal aid as soon as possible after the storm.