Durham-Orange County Light Rail Heads to the Federal Government | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, April 28, 2017

Durham-Orange County Light Rail Heads to the Federal Government

Posted by on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 3:58 PM

GoTriangle's board of trustees approved updated transit plans for Durham and Orange counties today, allowing a proposed light rail transit system connecting the two counties to move forward for federal grant approval.

The Federal Transit Administration had asked GoTriangle, which is heading up the $3.3 billion project, to submit updated transit plans, a cost-split agreement between the counties, and funding commitments by the end of the month in order to move ahead in its request for a New Starts grant that would cover half of the project cost.
GoTriangle expects that 10 percent of the funding will come from the state, with the rest—about $1.9 billion—coming from Durham and Orange counties. The local share will be funded by vehicle registration fees, car rental fees, and a half-cent transit tax, revenues sources that are expected to generate $5.2 billion through 2062. Fare revenue will go toward maintenance of the 17.7-mile system.

Light rail has not escaped opposition, particularly in Orange County, where cash reserves will take a larger hit than in Durham from the expense of building and financing the system. Under a new cost-sharing agreement, Durham will pay 81.5 percent of the local costs and Orange 16.5 percent. The remaining 2 percent is expected to come from land and monetary donations. This ratio was negotiated to protect Orange's balance, but also because most of the system's infrastructure is in Durham.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the plan 5–2 Thursday. Commissioners Earl McKee and Renee Price voted against, citing concerns about the financial risks.

Orange County Voice, a grassroots organization opposing light rail, presented a letter to the commissioners with the signatures of more than seventy residents who have concerns about the plan.

"April 27th is Orange County's last chance to say ‘no’ to this ill-conceived plan," the letter says. "Any other vote leaves citizens throughout the county with grave concerns about our transit future and the fiscal risks associated with the plan. "


Durham commissioners signed off on their part Monday.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and finish in 2028, with the system becoming operational in 2029.

There are still some unknowns to overcome. GoTriangle needs to secure funding from the state. And while President Donald Trump has vowed to invest in infrastructure, under his 2018 budget proposal, New Starts grants would only be awarded to projects with existing Federal Transit Administration agreements.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

It is still a little astonishing to me that, given the most immediate problem facing both Raleigh and Durham is …

by LH93 on Raleigh Has Made the Shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2 (News)

Thanks for not sounding condescending!

by EasyEB on It’s Going to Snow. Don’t Freak Out. (News)

Most Recent Comments

It is still a little astonishing to me that, given the most immediate problem facing both Raleigh and Durham is …

by LH93 on Raleigh Has Made the Shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2 (News)

Thanks for not sounding condescending!

by EasyEB on It’s Going to Snow. Don’t Freak Out. (News)

Well I think it's for the best. I wouldn't want his Holiness within 500 miles of the snake den that …

by Jim C. on Well, That Sucks: The Dalai Lama Is Not Coming to Raleigh Next Year After All (News)

I don't understand. Your headline says "Warmest Year on Record" but your graphic says that 1990 was equally warm. Shouldn't …

by Jim O'Hara on Don't Let the Cold Front Fool You: North Carolina Just Had its Warmest Year on Record (News)

- if they choose to decide to use rank-order, if majority vote
proves frustrating, thy should only rank their …

by Chris Tiffany on And the Finalists for the Vacant Durham City Council Seat Are ... (News)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation