It's time to implement the transit plan.
As Gerry Cohen noted in a recent post, on Tuesday of this week, the county commissioners will take up three resolutions to begin implementing the Orange County transit plan. The transit plan describes how investments will be made in public transit in Orange County and the funding sources for those investments—including a new half-cent sales tax levied by Triangle Transit, a new $7 vehicle registration fee levied by the county, and an additional $3 vehicle registration fee levied by Triangle Transit.
The three resolutions under consideration this week will authorize the collection of the sales tax and vehicle registration fees. The stage has been set for this implementation step over many months. First, the county commissioners adopted the Orange County transit plan on June 5. On October 24, they approved an interlocal implementation agreement with Triangle Transit and the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization. Finally, in November, Orange County voters approved the half-cent sales tax for transit in the general election by a vote of 59% to 41%.
The map below shows the precinct-level vote for the transit referendum. This map differs from previous election maps on OrangePolitics, in that it both shows the direction of the vote in each precinct and accounts for population density. (The inspiration was a map of the US presidential election results by Chris Howard).
Precincts leaning for the referendum are shown in shades of blue; precincts leaning against the referendum are shown in shades of red. Moreover, precincts with higher voter density are shown with greater opacity, whereas precincts with lower voter density are shown with less opacity. Voter density was calculated for each precinct as the number of ballots cast in the referendum per square kilometer. (Raw data are available in this Google spreadsheet.)
The map shows the usual differences in election results between the more rural precincts and the more urban precincts. It also shows that the precincts with the highest density of votes were more strongly in favor of the referendum.