The proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project serves the communities of Durham and Orange counties in many ways. Here is a list of several of the benefits it will generate:
• Significantly better public transit mobility for over 6 million riders each year (on the train) than what our current transit system offers. The D-O LRT Project will provide faster, more reliable and frequent service than our current bus network to our three major employment hubs at UNC Hospital, Duke Hospital and Downtown Durham.
• Expanded participation in the economy for individuals who cannot afford a car. The D-O LRT Project will put many more jobs within a reasonable travel time for low-income commuters who depend on transit for access to work. As development settles near stations over time, an even greater pool of jobs will be available along a high-capacity, high-reliability transit network.
• More bus hours to extend public transit in both counties. When the D-O LRT Project opens, a portion of or all of 17 different bus routes will be made redundant. That service can be redirected to underserved portions of the two counties, extend service hours on existing routes or improve frequency in corridors with growing ridership.
• Additional travel capacity along heavily traveled corridors while avoiding the costs of additional roadway capacity construction, road maintenance costs and auto emissions.
• Increased development around rail stations; allowing residents to complete many trips on foot or by bike in compact, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. In addition to the gas savings that these residents will experience by being able to walk to the store instead of drive, there will also be public health benefits through increasing amounts of active travel.
• Reduced accident rates per capita and energy use per capita.