Triangle Transit Authority

Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project Gets Federal Go Ahead

The news much awaited by transit supporters in Orange and Durham Counties finally came yesterday when the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) announced approval of Triangle Transit's request to enter Project Dvelopment phase on the 17-mile Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project. More details can be found in this press release:

DURHAM-ORANGE LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT PROJECT
GETS FEDERAL GO AHEAD FOR PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
 
Research Triangle Park, NC (2-25-14) – The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced today that Triangle Transit’s request to enter Project Development on the 17-mile Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project has been approved. 
 
“We are pleased with FTA’s decision,” said Fred Day IV, Chair of the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees.  “This represents an important milestone in the course of this project.”
 
Triangle Transit General Manager David King said, “We can now proceed to complete the environmental process, advance our engineering and make final alignment decisions.  We will also use this time to strengthen our financial plan and work with our municipal and university partners on land use and housing issues around stations.  We appreciate FTA’s vote of confidence in our work on this project.”
 
Triangle Transit asked the FTA for entry into the New Starts program in December 2013.  A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 will be completed by January 2016.
 
The light rail line would run from Chapel Hill to East Durham with proposed stops as UNC Hospitals and UNC, Mason Farm Road, Friday Center, Hillmont, Leigh Village, Patterson Place, South Square, Duke University, Duke University Medical Center, the VA Medical Center, downtown Durham and Alston Avenue/NC Central University.
 
The Project Development phase is scheduled to take two years. Project Development is followed by a three year phase called engineering.   Construction would follow the engineering phase and would likely take four to five years before light rail service could begin.  More information is available at ourtransitfuture.com.
 
The project cost is estimated at $1.34 billion dollars (in 2012 dollars).  Voters in Durham and Orange counties have approved a one-half cent sales tax to fund the local share of the rail project along with new and expanded bus service. 

Election Map 2012: Orange County Transit Tax Referendum

The Future of Regional Transit

Last week was a bad week for local and regional transit. The County Commissioners voted to postpone the half-cent sales tax referendum for increased service and future light rail, and Chapel Hill Transit submitted a budget with heavy service reductions (including cutting service completely to two neighborhoods). With these decisions, it is likely that it will be several years before we see improvements to our transit system.

Regional Transit To Carrboro, Please!

Triangle Transit is proposing service changes for the 15-501 corridor between Chapel Hill and Durham. I (and others in the region) believe that these service changes should include regional transit service through downtown Carrboro so that residents can take a direct bus to Durham.  

Carrboro has the highest transit ridership per capita in North Carolina (9%) without even having a direct bus service out to places where many residents work and hang out (namely downtown Durham, RTP, etc.).  At the same time, Carrboro is building up and not out, which means that our land use supports increased transit services.  We have the highest density of all large towns and cities in NC with high transit ridership.  Finally, I think that economically, increased transit service to Carrboro would very much benefit both downtown Carrboro and West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill by allowing riders from Durham a much faster way to get to our stores and food offerings.  

Hillsborough Amtrak Depot locations

Pages

 

Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.

 

Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

 
Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.