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5/5/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North Carolina's Triangle-region residents support regional rail system



It might not be a high priority for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) officials, but the Triangle Transit Authority’s (TTA) proposed regional rail system is garnering support from North Carolina residents. A majority of Wake, Durham and Orange county residents believe the 28-mile system will improve the region’s quality of life, according to a random poll of 811 people conducted last month by an independent research firm.

Ninety percent of the respondents said congestion already is a problem and 94 percent believed it will get worse during the next decade. In addition, 70 percent of the respondents said a variety of transit options are needed and 65 percent claimed a rail system would improve quality of life.

But TTA still needs to convince the FTA that the project — which would connect downtown Durham with Research Triangle Park, Morrisville, Cary, North Carolina State University and downtown Raleigh — is worthy of receiving federal funding. In February, the administration gave the project a “low” New Starts funding recommendation because of project concerns, including projected ridership. TTA officials plan to continue working with the FTA to resolve issues and re-rate the project later this year.



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