Light Rail

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
Triangle Transit

The regional bus and transportation planning agency GoTriangle has released an advance copy of the draft environmental impact statement for the Durham-Orange light rail line proposal. The statement is to be published formally later this week by the Federal Transit Administration. You can read about the impact statement and comment online here.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
Triangle Transit

Durham County and City officials will get updates about opportunities to improve affordable housing along the planned light rail line that will run into Orange County.

"What we've seen around the country is that, as these light rail systems are built, they are a major public infrastructure, and you see property values and rents go up in these areas, usually," said Aaron Cain, a Planning Supervisor for the city.

CAT Bus Route #4 Rex Hospital at a bus stop on Hillsborough Street in Downtown Raleigh.
Mywebsite1234000 / Wikipedia

Wake County has taken plans for a light rail system off the table, for now.

The county's Transit Advisory Committee voted this week on which plans to present for public comment.

Jason Horne of Raleigh is on the 50-plus member committee.

"We have a duty, I believe, to give the best bang for the buck to the tax payers who are investing in this. And the light rail is significantly more expensive for the benefit that you would get when we could get a lot of the same benefit at the much lower cost with bus rapid transit or rapid rail transit."

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
Triangle Transit

Triangle Transit will present its latest plans this week for a stretch of the light rail line that would connect Orange and Durham Counties.

The organization hosts public meetings in Chapel Hill Wednesday and Durham on Thursday to focus on the stretch of light rail line connecting UNC Hospitals with the Duke and VA hospitals. Spokesman Brad Schulz says the plan addresses local communities' locations, zoning and environmental concerns.

Wonder what that proposed 17-mile light rail project that would connect Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina would look like? Take a look at the latest model. It's made using Google Earth's virtual tour capabilities and other 3D software:

Project planners will have an environmental impact statement ready for public review in early 2015. The project is set to be constructed between 2020 and 2026 depending on approvals and funding.

Triangle Transit Authority

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) has given the green-light to begin the first steps of a 17-mile light rail project connecting Durham and Orange Counties.

The decision authorizes Triangle Transit to begin development on the project, by studying the potential environmental impact of two proposed rail routes.

Triangle Transit has put together this video "fly-through" of the proposed light rail route:

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Triangle Transit Authority

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. 

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Triangle Transit Authority

  

Wake County commissioners invited a panel of experts to weigh-in on possible plans to develop rail transit in the county.

The three experts urged the county to focus on other mass transit solutions like expanding the bus system. Host Frank Stasio talks with Bruce Siceloff, a reporter for the News & Observer about the future of mass transit in Wake County.

A 14-mile light rail line is part of Triangle Transit's proposal for Wake County.
Triangle Transit Authority

Commissioners in Wake County are holding their first public discussion about a plan for expanded bus and light rail services.

The board meets Tuesday morning with three transit experts from outside the state.  It's the county's first public meeting about the plan, which Triangle Transit Authority presented in 2011.  Commissioners have declined to bring it up for discussion since then. 

Commissioner Paul Coble says he wants a second opinion.

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Triangle Transit Authority

Advocates of the proposed light rail line from Chapel Hill to Durham say local governments should plan early to set aside money for affordable housing near train stations.  Researchers with Triangle Transit Authority met with Durham residents earlier this month. 

TTA research associate Geoff Green says the agency examined how property values changed when other metropolitan areas decided to build light rail.

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