Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Show All Answers
GoTriangle proposes to implement a 17.8-mile Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in the corridor that extends from the University of North Carolina Hospital in the Town of Chapel Hill to North Carolina Central University in the City of Durham. The proposed project includes 18 stations, approximately 4,400 parking spaces, a maintenance facility and the purchase of 18 LRT vehicles. Service will be provided on the proposed project from 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekdays, and from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekends. In the opening and horizon years, service will operate every ten to 20 minutes during the weekday, every 20 minutes in the evening during the week, and every 20 to 30 minutes on weekends. End-to-end travel time is estimated to be approximately 44 to 46 minutes.
For our community to continue to grow and maintain our enjoyable quality of life, the Triangle needs a high-quality interconnected transportation system. Planning for high-capacity transit in the Triangle region began more than 20 years ago, and several studies have been conducted to advance major transit investments in the area. That work included extensive coordination with stakeholders and members of the public to develop, evaluate and refine the range of alternatives.
Those studies identified the corridor between Durham and Chapel Hill as one of the highest-priority corridors for transit investment. Even under current demands, the roadway network and transit systems between Durham and Chapel Hill are beginning to strain. Congestion continues to increase, and as more people move to our area, all residents and visitors will experience increased travel times and sprawl compromising our open space and rural areas. This project will connect residents to many of our area’s top employers, provide access to high-quality medical care and educational opportunities and help our local governments prepare for growth by fostering compact development along a high-capacity transportation network.
Both ends of the corridor have central business districts, large medical facilities, and universities that serve as major employment centers for the region. Major trip generators in the corridor include: University of North Carolina; North Carolina Central University; Duke University; Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Durham Amtrak Station; Durham Performing Arts Center; Durham Station; and downtown Durham. Bus service in the corridor today is slow due to traffic congestion. The DOLRT will provide an alternative to congested roadways.
It is anticipated that the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program will provide approximately 50 percent of the project’s capital cost. Durham County will pay approximately 30 percent and the remaining funding will come from Orange County (6 percent), the state (7.7 percent) and other sources (6.3 percent). Durham and Orange counties approved a half-cent sales tax increase that will be used for the project, among other transit investments. GoTriangle will also pursue Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act credit assistance and possible alternative financing and value capture options.
Orange County's adopted budget for FY19 included a conservative sales tax growth estimate of 2 percent. This figure does not represent the county's forecast or expected revenues. Instead, the county -- like most local governments -- typically budgets revenue growth conservatively. This is to help the county avoid any shortfalls in revenue that could cause a budget crisis later in the fiscal year.
Historically, county sales tax revenues have grown at a rate much higher than what was included in the county's approved budget and higher than the projections made by GoTriangle for the DOLRT. In fact, the Article 43 sales tax revenue grew at 8.4% in FY17 and 7.8% in FY18. For the first three months of FY19, revenue from the Article 43 is exceeding the budgeted growth rate, averaging around 6.0%.
Final funding commitments are required prior to the approval of a full funding grant agreement by the Federal Transit Administration. Both Durham and Orange County are committed to meet the April 30, 2019, Federal Transit Administration application deadline.
Below is the project timeline provided by GoTriangle.