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Rail News: Passenger Rail

North Carolina light-rail project secures local funding

A rendering of the Alston Avenue station.
Photo – GoTriangle


The Durham-Orange light-rail project in North Carolina won't require additional local sources of funding, GoTriangle announced last week.

During a financial update on Jan. 4, the agency's board learned that existing transit revenue is expected to cover the costs of the 17.7-mile, 18-station project, GoTriangle officials said in a press release.

"Working with our financial adviser and financial modeler, we have been able to refine the financing plan to be able to fund the project with the existing, identified funds from the one-half cent sales tax," said Danny Rogers, project director for the Durham-Orange line. "With their support we identified ways to structure project debt to better match revenues and expenditures."

GoTriangle recently began working financial adviser The PFM Group to examine the project's budget.

The agency has submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) an updated financial plan as part of its request to enter the engineering phase for the project. GoTriangle expects to learn more about the status of the request in late February.

The FTA is expected to cover half of the project's costs, contingent on the remaining half coming from "existing dedicated transit funding and state funds," GoTriangle officials said.

The FTA in February 2016 signed a combined final environmental impact statement and record of decision for the Durham-Orange light-rail project.

The proposed route would run 17 miles from southwest Chapel Hill to eastern Durham and serve educational, medical and other key activity centers, according to GoTriangle.

A map shows the route for the proposed Durham-Orange light-rail line.
(Click to view larger)
Source: GoTriangle