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?
- Contact a Commissioner: Send to this one address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
- Orange County Transit Plan
- GoTriangle Durham Orange Light Rail Flyover
- Zoom in map of proposed rail project route in Chapel Hill (Use arrows in left hand corner to see details)
- Commission hears Davenport Independent Financial Review, Videotape of entire meeting
- Davenport Independent Financial Review, Speeches from April 4
- View video on North-South MLK Bus Rapid Transit Project
- 3.08 Earl McKee questions Gotriangle’s financing plans
- 2.16 Letter from Federal Transit Administration to Gotriangle
- Where do UNC Employees and Students Live?
- Updated Schedule of Transit Meetings
February 22, Chamber Transit Presentation
- View presentation on North-South BRT Project here
- View video on North-South BRT Project here
- View presentation from GoTriangle here
- View presentation from Regional Transportation Alliance here
Speeches and Research
- County Commissioners Consider Davenport Financial Information, April 4
- Speeches to County Commissioners, March 7
- Speeches to County Commissioners, April 4
- Presentation to Town Council by CHALT (PDF)
- Chapel Hill Transit Report, January 2015 A Town consultant reveals the state of Chapel Hill Transit and serious deficiencies that need to be addressed.
- Fostering A Pedestrian-Friendly Urban World December 20, 2012. How could the creation of more pedestrian-friendly urban environments help American cities thrive and grow in the 21st Century?
- BRT Congestion Study: What mode of transport do you prefer on MLK in Chapel Hill? Study of Chapel Hill attitudes began in 2013.
- Light Rail Funding Leaves Little Room for Error, CH News, April 5
- Durham-Orange Light Rail Costs Could Delay Commuter Rail
- Light Rail, White Elephant, Chapelboro, Richard Chady
- County Needs to Pursue Transit for All, Tony Blake, Chapel Hill News, Mar 31
- County needs to pursue transit that makes sense for all, CH News, Tony Blake, April 2, 2017
- FTA Tells Durham-Orange Funding Letters Won’t Advance Light Rail, Mass Transit, Mar 3
- Trump’s Budget Proposal could Derail Light Rail, Durham Herald, T Grubb, Mar 17
- Report Shares Ideas on Chapel Hill station design and affordable housing, Mar 14 Chapel Hill News
- Light Rail, Big Budgets and Social Justice, March 10, Chapel Hill News
- Who Killed the Light Rail? David Hudnall, Indy
- DOLRT the Giant Vacccum Cleaner, CH News, Ken Larson, Jan