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By The Commentators

Voting on Transit: What's at Stake

By The Commentators Posted October 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I served on the Chapel Hill Town Council from 1973 to 1979, and under the leadership of then Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee and Terry Lathrop, assisted to help pass the 1974 referendum when Chapel Hill voters, by a 2 to 1 margin, approved a tax levy for the establishment of Chapel Hill Transit. Carrboro followed suit a few years later. 

Can you imagine Southern Orange without transit? I’ve lived in Raleigh since 1984, and am still involved in regional transit efforts, including development of the regional transit plan under consideration.

Orange County voters have a chance during early voting starting October 18, or on election day November 6, to vote on a 1/2-cent sales tax increase to fund a large expansion in bus service throughout the county and an expansion of regional bus service to Durham, an AMTRAK station in Hillsborough, and, if federal and state funds are available, a light rail system which will connect Orange and Durham’s largest employers — UNC and UNC Hospitals, and Duke University and Duke Medical Center. 

Durham voters approved this plan by a 60-40 margin last year, and a commuter rail connection between Durham and Raleigh is pending a Wake County referendum.  I hope listeners will join in voting on the Orange County issue.

Remember to turn your ballot over, as the referendum is the last thing on the ballot. In a region where a large % of employees commute between counties, let’s improve both local transit service and regional efforts.

 
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