N.C. Triangle Transit offers LRT vision

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Residents of North Carolina's Research Triangle, which includes the state capital Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, are being offered "virtual" tours of a proposed light rail transit system courtesy of Triangle Transit.

Simulations of an LRT trip take viewers along a 17-mile route being proposed, running from the University of North Carolina Hospitals complex in Chapel Hill to Alston Avenue in Durham. Duke Medical Center and downtown Durham also would be served.

The video is part of the scoping process required as part of the environmental assessment being conducted for the proposal, expected to cost $1.3 billion to construct.

The LRT project is one component of a regional bus and rail system extending past Durham through Cary and Raleigh. Raleigh’s participation to date is lagging, however, since Wake County, N.C. has yet to commit sufficient funds to the proposed regional program.

Durham-based Triangle Transit, formed in 1989, serves Durham, Orange and Wake counties, and oversees regional planning for the three counties.

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) currently operates the sole light rail transit line in North Carolina, in its namesake city, roughly 150 miles southwest of Durham.