GoTriangle to host Raleigh and Durham commuter rail forum
If you have any questions about the commuter train and how it works in the Triangle, you may want to set aside time for Thursday evening.
GoTriangle, the agency that plans the train line that would link the region’s largest cities to Research Triangle Park, is organizing a virtual question-and-answer session on the project from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Planners will talk about possible locations for stations and park-and-ride lots along the route and answer questions submitted online during the presentation. Trains would follow the existing North Carolina Railroad line on the west side of Durham through RTP, Morrisville, Cary and Raleigh and continue east to Garner or Clayton.
To register for Thursday’s Zoom webinar, visit bit.ly/3bHYmhS.
The commuter train project received renewed attention this month when Congress passed the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Triangle politicians say the massive bill will help secure federal funds for the project, although GoTriangle is not yet ready to request it.
GoTriangle is still investigating whether the project is technically, financially, legally and politically feasible. Based on the results of that study next spring, officials in Durham, Johnston and Wake counties and regional transportation planning organizations must then decide whether to do so and start applying for federal grants.
Federal money could cover half of the estimated $ 1.4 billion to $ 2.1 billion cost of designing and building the system, with the remainder coming from the three counties. Durham and Wake both have half a cent sales taxes dedicated to transit.
The system would resemble the passenger trains that carry commuters to cities like Chicago and New York. It would share tracks with freight and Amtrak trains in the NC Railroad corridor that runs through the heart of the triangle.
If all goes according to plan, construction would start in 2025, commuter trains will run in 2030.
This is the second effort to build a commuter train system in the Triangle. GoTriangle’s predecessor, the Triangle Transit Authority, spent 11 years planning a 28-mile commuter train line along the same corridor before giving up in 2006, when it became clear the federal government would not provide funding.
Two years ago, GoTriangle abandoned a proposal to build an 18 mile light rail line, primarily on new tracks between Durham and Chapel Hill, due to logistical and regulatory hurdles and escalation. costs.
The latest commuter train proposal has its origins in the Wake Transit Plan, which county voters approved in 2016, as well as the sales tax increase to fund public transit.
The plan also includes the expansion of the existing bus service and the construction of four rapid transit lines from downtown Raleigh. The federal government has pledged $ 35 million to help build the first of these lines along New Bern Avenue. It is expected to be completed by 2024.
This story was originally published November 16, 2021 11:01 a.m.