Getting Around the Triangle: Transit, Trains, and Automobiles in RDU

Dated: July 20 2023

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Getting Around the Triangle: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in RDU

When it comes to real estate, location truly matters. In the bustling Triangle area, where commuting and transportation play a significant role in our daily lives, choosing the right location for your home becomes even more crucial. From accessibility to amenities, schools, and work, there are several factors that can make a location more or less attractive to potential homebuyers. In this blog post, we'll explore the key considerations that can greatly influence your decision when searching for your dream home in the Triangle. Join us as we delve into the world of location-centric real estate and discover how to find the perfect place to call home. 

Red plane at a busy airport gate

Airports: When searching for a new home, it's important to consider the location of nearby airports, especially in a bustling city like Raleigh. With Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) located in the suburb of Morrisville in Wake County, it's possible that your new home may experience aircraft-related noise from time to time. While the RDU Airport Authority is always looking for ways to minimize noise pollution, it's important to keep in mind that changes to the airport's operations could still impact your home's tranquility. 

Additionally, smaller airports located throughout the metro area could also contribute to noise levels in certain areas. It's important to do your research and take into account the potential impact of airport traffic when making your home-buying decision. Make sure to read RDU’s website to learn about noise disclosure laws and best practices when buying a home near the airport.   

Freight train on a rail with a basic blue sky

Trains: It's vital to consider the proximity of active railroads when buying a new home. While trains can provide an efficient and cost-effective means of transportation for longer distances, they can also cause noise pollution and inconvenience for those living nearby. While the Triangle area does not have a robust train system like Chicago or New York, there are still options for long-distance travel, including AMTRAK, Norfolk Southern, and NCDOT. If you're looking for a home within an hour of the Triangle, it's important to note that trains are not a practical option for daily commuting. 


Line of public buses in varying colors in a parking lot.

Transit: It’s important to take public transportation options into account when looking for a new home. While owning a car is still the primary mode of transportation for most residents, there are several public transportation systems available for those who prefer not to drive. There is dependable transportation for NC State University and some places are walkable but this is not a city built with walkability as a high priority. 

Go Triangle, Go Raleigh, Go Durham, and Go Cary offer comprehensive bus services that connect various neighborhoods and communities. These buses serve as an accessible and affordable mode of transportation for residents, allowing them to commute to work, run errands, or explore the vibrant Triangle region. If you plan on using transit as your main method of getting around town, make sure to mention that to your Realtor® in Raleigh. The presence of rideshare services and local cab companies provides additional options for those seeking convenient transportation solutions.

While discussions about implementing a commuter rail line in the Triangle have persisted for decades, its realization in the near future remains uncertain. As always, make sure to consult a local map to see if there are any railroads near your prospective new home.

Picture of the Raleigh skyline and highway leading into downtown Raleigh

New Roads: Local, state, and federal road projects are underway throughout the Triangle Metro Area. One of the largest of those projects is the I-540 Outer Loop.  The Outer Loop will link several suburbs to Raleigh- including Clayton, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Cary and Apex. Construction has been ongoing since 2019. If you’re curious about the expansion of 540, the North Carolina Department of Transportation released this visualization of the future of 540.

Living near a major road comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, the convenience of easy access to transportation and nearby amenities can be a major pro. However, it's essential to weigh the potential drawbacks, such as increased traffic patterns, higher noise levels, and a potential compromise on privacy, before making a decision about purchasing a home off a busy road.


Major roadways in our area include 40, 440, 540, 1, 64, 85, 70, 50, 401, and 42. By car, Cary is 2 and a half hours from Charlotte, 2 hours from Wilmington, 3h 45 from Asheville, 6h from Atlanta, 2h 30m from Richmond and 5 hours from DC. 


The Triangle area comprises Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Morrisville and other outlying communities like Garner, Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina. Real estate hotspots such as Wake County, Johnston County, Orange County, Chatham County and Durham County are all considered to be part of the Triangle. If you are interested in buying or selling a home, contact Mary Ann Wilson Team today. We’re a team of experienced agents and long time residents of the area who are here to help.

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Mary Ann Wilson

Mary Ann Wilson started her passion for real estate as a young girl living in Kansas City. Instead of reading the comics, she found herself turning to the real estate section of the newspaper and that....

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