How is this project being funded?

light rail statsIt is anticipated that the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program will provide approximately 50 percent of the project’s capital cost. Durham County will pay approximately 30 percent and the remaining funding will come from Orange County (6 percent), the state (7.7 percent) and other sources (6.3 percent).

What is light rail?

Light rail is a transit technology that uses lighter rail cars than traditional passenger rail systems like subways or commuter rails. Light rail operates in dedicated tracks with electrical power supplied from an overhead catenary system. The light-rail vehicles are designed to operate in mixed traffic or in an exclusive right of way, either at grade or on an elevated structure. Light rail has benefited several American cities, such as Seattle/Tacoma, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Charlotte and Portland.

Why do we need the light-rail project?

For our community to continue to grow and maintain our enjoyable quality of life, the Triangle needs a high-quality interconnected transportation system. Planning for high-capacity transit in the Triangle region began more than 20 years ago, and several studies have been conducted to advance major transit investments in the area. That work included extensive coordination with stakeholders and members of the public to develop, evaluate and refine the range of alternatives.

Why does the project not serve RDU International Airport, Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, or Wake County?

Transportation studies showed that a continuously connected rail line to RDU and RTP would not be warranted or cost effective based on estimated demand. RTP has a significant number of jobs, but they are widely distributed compared with those in Chapel Hill and Durham. This dispersed development pattern is not conducive to rail service. Wake County is also planning for transit by evaluating potential transit corridors. For more information, please see