The transit future of Durham continues to improve and expand thanks in part to a half-cent local sales tax increase which passed in Nov. 2011. Working with Triangle Transit, the Durham Chamber of Commerce took leadership in engaging and informing the community of the Durham County Bus and Rail Investment plan. The long term goals of the plan included:

• Providing better regional connections to other cities and the RDU Airport
• Connecting more residents with post-secondary and vocational educational opportunities
• Connecting more residents with jobs
• Expanding bus capacity on corridors with high current bus ridership

Three years later and Durham has seen expanded and improved bus service, new commuter service between Hillsborough and downtown Durham, as well as new solar powered digital arrival signs at major bus stops.

Revenues to fund the Transit Plan included a one-half cent sales tax, $7 county vehicle registration tax and the regional vehicle rental tax. According to the Triangle Transit website, FY14 revenue and expenses for the plan total $6,989,796 in expenditures and $24, 113, 171 in revenue.

In February 2014, the Federal Transit Administration approved Triangle Transit to begin project development on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project.

Representatives from Triangle Transit will provide a full update of the Transit Plan at the next Durham Chamber Transportation Committee meeting on Feb. 24 at Noon at the Durham Chamber office.

Find details on the plan at http://www.triangletransit.org/sites/default/files/files/2014DurhamCo-report_web(1).pdf

Other projects:

The Alston Ave. (NC-55) Project
Plans to widen a one-mile stretch of Alston Ave., from Hwy 147 to Holloway Street are underway. Plan details include a mostly four lane median divided roadway with curb and gutter. Improvements will reduce congestion and improve safety.

East End Connector
A fifty year wait comes to an end when work begins on the much anticipated East End Connector. The eight mile stretch will provide welcome relief to commuters, truckers and travelers, providing a link among four major transportation routes – I-85, US 70, NC 147 and I-40. The connector will run from the Durham Freeway (NC 147) in north Durham to US 70 (Miami Boulevard).