On Monday, GoTriangle announced plans to consider adding a stop to the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit at N.C. Central—thus extending a bit farther east.
The DOLRT was expected to connect Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill (and their respective cities) with seventeen miles of rail. Now, after receiving comments during the environmental impact portion of the project—including complaints that the line wouldn't sufficiently serve low-income black communities—GoTriangle is evaluating how it could connect a third university.
In a release, GoTriangle said that "preliminary studies suggest an NCCU station could be the most used stop in Durham."
While GoTriangle is looking to expand light-rail coverage, funding for the $1.6 billion project is still up in the air. In the last budget, the General Assembly removed a $500,000 state funding cap—which would have been fatal to the project—but replaced it with a provision limiting the state's investment in any commuter or light rail to 10 percent of the total cost. The current plan calls for 25 percent of the project's costs to come from local funds, 25 percent from state funds, and the remainder from the federal government. Without state funding, it's unlikely the federal government will cough up its share of the dough.