Add Your Comments to the Durham and Orange Counties’ Transit Plans

Mangum-Pettigrew-prop-draft-03An Amtrak station in Hillsborough, expanded bus service in Chapel Hill and Durham, and a 17.7-mile light rail project connecting major destinations in Durham and Orange counties are just a few transit proposals that residents can address in a comment period this month.

Durham and Orange counties, the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC), and GoTriangle have updated the counties’ transit plans at the request of the Federal Transit Administration and are seeking public comment until April 21. A series of public workshops on the plans begins Monday in both counties.  Find the plans online at ourtransitfuture.com/plans.

Highlights of the plans in Durham County include:

  • Expansion of the bus network that began when transit taxes were implemented in 2013.
  • Improved bus stops and access to stops.
  • Increased frequency of GoTriangle regional service connections with RDU Airport and Raleigh.
  • Increased demand-responsive service through the ACCESS program.
  • Planning for the Wake-Durham Commuter Rail Project.

Highlights of the plans in Orange County include:

  • Expanded Chapel Hill Transit bus service, with new buses coming in.
  • Improved bus stops and access to stops in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
  • Expanded Orange Public Transportation bus service.
  • Construction of a transit center in Hillsborough where customers can connect with OPT and GoTriangle services.
  • Increased frequency of GoTriangle regional service connections with RDU Airport and Raleigh.
  • $6.1 million for a North-South Bus Rapid Transit project in Chapel Hill.

To comment on the plans, residents can email info@ourtransitfuture.com, write to Our Transit Future, PO Box 13787, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 or attend one of these meetings between 5 and 7 p.m.:

  • Monday, April 10, Durham Station, 515 W. Pettigrew St., Durham 27701
  • Tuesday, April 11, Orange County West Campus Office Building, 131 Margaret Lane, Hillsborough 27278
  • Wednesday, April 12, GoTriangle, 4600 Emperor Blvd., Durham 27703
  • Thursday, April 13, Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill 27514

Residents also can sign up to speak at these public hearings:

  • Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m., Durham County Board of Commissioners, Durham County Administrative Complex, 200 E. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701
  • Wednesday, April 12, 9 a.m., Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board, City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham 27701
  • Tuesday, April 18, 7 p.m., Orange County Board of Commissioners, Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill 27514

new_bus_6 (1)The proposed Amtrak station in Hillsborough will connect residents of Orange County to the Piedmont rail service, which runs between Charlotte and Raleigh four times a day, and to the Carolinian service, which runs between Charlotte and New York twice a day.

A bus rapid transit system along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Chapel Hill will connect commuters from park-and-ride lots on Eubanks Road in the north and Southern Village in the south with downtown Chapel Hill and UNC, serving one of Chapel Hill’s busiest transit corridors.

The 17.7-mile Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project will better connect people to jobs, schools and healthcare providers and offer a more predictable, congestion-free trip for commuters. The line will serve three of the top 10 employers in the state, directly connect three major universities and provide direct access to UNC Hospitals, Duke University Medical Center, the Durham VA Medical Center and employers, services and entertainment in downtown Durham. New development around the planned light rail stations is projected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and add $175 million annually in state and local tax revenue.

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