Public  transportation is critical for our region. Residents and taxpayers        of Orange County need Affordable Transit that will  address the needs and existing traffic congestion. We need the best value for the ½ sales tax revenues we voted for in 2012! We can’t afford the 3.2 Billion light rail proposal.

Instead of a single light rail corridor that largely misses our county, we can serve the transit needs of the entire county in more practical ways by spending our transit money on expanded bus service. More frequent bus service throughout the county would support the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) running electric buses on busy corridors in town.

On April 27, the Orange County Commissioners will decide whether to commit to funding the Durham Orange Light Rail Transit (DOLRT).  Here are the risks:

  • County taxpayers will be committed to a $935 Million dollar debt for 45 years to pay for the Durham Orange Light Rail.
  • If costs for Light Rail exceed revenue income, County funds for schools and affordable housing will be at risk.
  • Light Rail will serve few Orange County residents leaving working families, seniors and low-income communities withou access to transportation.
  • Almost all of the dedicated 1/2 cent sales transit tax monies will go to paying for light rail and long-term and short-term debt so other needed public transit will not be implemented.

What Can You Do?

  • Suggested points to make with Commissioners: 1) Ask the commissioners to vote against funding the plan so that additional millions are not spent on the Light Rail project, 2) Ask officials to develop a revised County transit plan, with broad community involvement, to identify affordable transit that serves the entire county, and 3) share a personal story of why we need public transit for all.
  • Attend the Board of County Commissioners Public Hearing, April 18th. Southern Human Services Center is located at 2501 Homestead Road. The Board will consider this Orange County Transit Plan. (link) and this financing plan (link).  Seating will be limited so come early; sign up in advance with the Town Clerk if you wish to speak.

You can influence your elected county officials on a decision that will have an affect on you and other residents for years to come.

What are the choices?

The Commissioners could decide to support the proposed Orange County Transit Plan. If they do so, 70 million dollars of engineering would begin this month and spending would continue until the Federal Transportation Administration decides whether to fund the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project.

The Commissioners could find the costs and risks of the plan unacceptable.  If this happens there are other transit options. A cost effective technology is available and Chapel Hill has proactively planned for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on the MLK corridor between Eubanks Rd near I-40 and Southern Village. Watch this video to imagine how bus rapid transit would help move people in our community. Several BRT systems could become the transit spine for the county that would be supported by a bus feeder system.

Transit Meeting Schedule  (Click on Link)

Links About Proposed Transit Plans

February 22, Chamber Transit Presentation

Speeches and Research



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3 responses to “Transportation

  1. I got your postcard. Who funds you?

    Affordable Transit for All advocates for affordable transit that we can afford. When GoTriangle announced the new 2.5 billion dollar pricetag (future dollars) for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit part of the Orange County Transit Plan, not including interest on the debt, leaders from Smart Transit Future, Orange County Voice and Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town (representing thousands of local residents) formed a collaborative effort to educate citizens. We passed the hat to raise money for this effort.

  2. I find it extremely misleading that the postcard takes a clear position in opposition without making any reference to who you are. Pretty shady.

    Exercising our constitutional rights is what we need to be doing.

    • GoTriangle is promoting a plan that contains a light rail project which is now projected to cost 3.3 Billion Dollars. That portion of the plan according to GoTriangle’s own figures reduces funding for bus hours and bus rapid transit. Both these modes will better serve our transit needs. The light rail only enters the south east portion of our county for 3 miles, missing all our economic centers. The county has commissioned an independent analysis which demonstrates that this plan (because of light rail costs) will be very risky for our county. See conclusion of that report here.

      The group who send the postcard is Affordable Transit for All Just google the website. On the contact page is a list of the groups of people who joined in this effort. We passed the hat to pay for the postcard.

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