An advisory committee is set to meet for the first time to make recommendations for the next steps in building a light rail line in Orange and Durham counties.
The group of government representatives, university officials, and business leaders convenes Friday morning in Chapel Hill. Triangle Transit Authority plans to build a 17-mile line from UNC Hospitals to downtown Durham.
Wake County commissioners have delayed two other rail projects that would extend the line from Durham to Cary and Garner, but Triangle Transit spokesman Brad Schulz says the segment in Orange and Durham counties can go ahead without projects in Wake.
"Each of the projects is separate, and we will continue to look at it that way so that hopefully when all three pieces are put together and when the communities finally decide what it is they need in Wake County, we can come up with the best plan possible to move folks from one section of the Triangle to the other," Schulz says.
Triangle Transit hopes to start an environmental impact study of the Orange-Durham corridor early next year.
Triangle Transit has created a virtual tour of the planned light rail line from UNC Hospitals to downtown Durham.