In the wake of the failed Durham – Orange Light Rail project, the Orange County Board of Commissioners is looking at what’s next in terms of alternative transportation.
Chair of the Board of Commissioners Penny Rich says a commuter rail to take passengers from Durham County to Wake County has long been in the plans and will likely be accelerated now that the light rail is out of the picture.
“Now that we don’t have the light rail, there’s more energy around this commuter rail, and other energy period about what we’re going to do,” says Rich. “How are we going to create this regional system?”
GoTriangle is currently conducting a study looking into the commuter rail. The survey, approved by the transit authority’s Board of Trustees last month, will look into the feasibility of extending the commuter rail line to Orange, Alamance and Johnston counties.
While Rich said she realizes there are many transit systems throughout the county that will be vying for space in the budget, she says creating a regional transit network remains the priority.
“I do think the biggest concern is to move people in and out of Orange County,” says Rich. “I think we move people within Chapel Hill and Carrboro just fine.”
The board will hear a presentation on the commuter rail and creating a new Orange County Transit Plan at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill.