The Raleigh City Council has approved a proposal for a downtown light rail line.
City council members voted last night to support a route that goes through the west side of downtown along Harrington Avenue. It's a segment of the light rail proposal from Triangle Transit Authority that would eventually run from Chapel Hill to Garner. The council's plan breaks from a recommendation by the city's Passenger Rail Task Force. That route would have brought tracks into the heart of downtown on both sides of the Capitol building.
But Mayor Charles Meeker says the Harrington Avenue route is cheaper and avoids congestion at major thoroughfares.
Charles Meeker: "The plan provides service quickly through central Raleigh and also provides service in areas that are likely to have substantial growth in the years ahead, so it will capture some of that growth near the rail stops."
Two council members voted against the plan. Bonner Gaylord says the council should reconsider a route that stops at downtown landmarks in order to attract more riders.