Transportation

The Christmas and New Year holiday travel season means big business for the nation’s airports.  A report by N-C State and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education shows just how big aviation is in this state. 

A company in downtown Durham is hoping to revolutionize the way people commute. The ELF is a vehicle created by Organic Transit and its founder Rob Cotter. It fills the niche between the car and the bike, and Cotter thinks it can be an eco-friendly alternative to traditional vehicles.

Orange County Commissioners have given final approval to levy a half-cent sales tax for transit projects starting this Spring. Commissioners decided this week to collect the tax beginning on April 1. Voters in Orange County approved the tax on a ballot referendum in November. Durham residents did the same last year and will start paying the tax at the same time. Revenue goes toward a $1.4 billion plan from Triangle Transit Authority to expand bus services and build a light rail line from UNC Hospitals to downtown Durham.

Research Triangle Park leaders have rolled out a new master plan to transform the business center into a more community-friendly atmosphere. 

Gurnal Scott: You may not realize that RTP has been around 53 years. Its foundation says it must look beyond its original vision of business innovation to grow in the next half century. CEO Bob Geolas says job growth is still a top priority.

Department of Transportation officials want coastal residents to be aware that the rainy, windy weather could delay the ferry from Ocracoke Island to Hatteras Island. The Army Corps of Engineers dredged Hatteras Inlet back in May. But DOT spokeswoman Lucy Wallace says shoaling in Hatteras Inlet means it will have to be dredged again. In the meantime, she says passengers should keep an eye on the ferry schedule.

North Carolina will get about $14 million of the nearly $800 million the federal government is giving out to update transit systems across the country. The grants are part of the US Department of Transportation's "State of Good Repair and Bus Livability" effort.

DOT Secretary Ray Lahood says the grants will have a transformative effect.

Public transportation has long been a contentious topic in the Triangle. As cities like Charlotte have expanded bus service and built a light-rail system, cities like Raleigh and Durham have failed to keep up.

But now, a plan to increase busses and begin the long process of connecting the cities in the Triangle by rail is just a few steps from being implemented. Those last few steps are proving to be the hardest.

Durham and Orange county residents will get a closer look today and tomorrow at a proposed light rail transit plan.

More North Carolinians are carpooling to work. Jeff Tiberii has more.

Jeff Tiberii: Last year 27-hundred people signed up to be part of the states Share the Ride NC program. The Department of Transportation says there are now more than 31-thousand people who car pool to and from work.

Jennifer Garifo: A big advantage is just a relief on stress; especially people that are in urban areas, sitting by yourself in the car, stop and go traffic.

Commuters in Winston-Salem board a P.A.R.T. express bus bound for Greensboro
Jeff Tiberii

The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation is having its busiest year ever. The bus service connecting Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and many smaller communities in the Triad is 9 years old. Yet despite strong ridership P.A.R.T. is in financial trouble.

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