Re: Too many "Transit Authorities"? Or, just one fox guarding all of the chickens?
Back in 2007, I did a magazine article on why the Charlotte, N.C., metropolitan area managed to get a (light) rail transit system, while the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area, also in North Carolina, had not.
A version of that article is still online here: https://www.metro-magazine.com/management-operations/article/211111/where-rail-succeeds-and-where-it-doesnt
The basic premise of that article was that Charlotte and its surrounding Mecklenburg County (which have merged many city-county government operations) was a single entity, which could make decisions on its own, while the so-called "Triangle" -- which included not only Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, but also many smaller towns and multiple county goverments -- could not get its act together.
An update to that article: Charlotte recently opened a major expansion of its light rail line; Durham and Chapel Hill recently abandoned plans for a light rail line -- the second major effort at rail transit in the Triangle -- after all the stakeholders, including Duke University in Durham, could not agree on some important issues.
As someone who has spent much of my life covering transportation issues, I always thought that light rail was the wrong solution for the Triangle. Instead, I would have focused on commuter rail on the existing N.C. Railroad corridor, running trains from Selma, N.C., in the east to Burlington, N.C. in the west. (Both of those end points have space for the construction of layover and service tracks -- and already have Amtrak stations with nearby parking (which would need to be expanded). The end points are also the outside limits for most
people who commute to major businesses or universities in the Triangle.
Yes, you would need more double track along the route that I described, but you would also be able to get a lot of long-haul commuters off the Interstates, particularly if you had good bus connections at the intermediate points which would get people to their work locations.