Know The Facts
What is Light Rail Transit?
Light Rail Transit (LRT) is used to provide high frequency rail transit service in metropolitan areas. More than 20 urban areas in the United States and Canada operate light rail systems, including: Charlotte, Norfolk, Baltimore, Dallas, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Jose, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Portland and Ottawa.
LRT typically serves corridors between five and 20 miles, with stations spaced between a quarter-mile and two miles. LRT typically runs every five to 15 minutes during peak hours (6:00-9:00 a.m. & 3:00-6:00 p.m.) and between ten and 20 minutes off-peak. LRT can travel up to 55-65 miles per hour, but normally averages 25-35 mph. Depending on design specification a car can accommodate up to 180 passengers (40-60 seated) in regular service, and as many as 200-225 for large crowd special event situations. Cars can be connected, so that systems can add capacity without adding additional operators.
Why Light Rail for the Durham-Orange Corridor?
Travel between Durham and Chapel Hill is becoming increasingly difficult as more people move to the Triangle. Many key roadways are constrained by pristine natural resources and built development limiting our ability to expand, and in key corridors our existing transit service is reaching maximum capacity.
LRT was chosen for the Durham-Orange Corridor because the technology:
• Provides solid anchors needed to shape land use along this critical corridor
• Serves the people in the Durham-Orange corridor most cost-effectively long term
• Serves a corridor with some of the highest project trips per acre in the region
• Supports land use patterns, which require closely spaced stops, best served by nimble vehicles that are able to accelerate quickly
• Connects residential, educational and major employment centers throughout the corridor
• Provides high-frequency rail service shown to support transit-oriented development