How will the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project serve low-income residents?
The 2014 fall Onboard Survey conducted on GoTriangle, GoDurham and Chapel Hill Transit demonstrates that the majority of the existing bus ridership on all three transit systems has a household income below the Triangle region median income of $51,174. As the D-O LRT Project serves the heaviest transit boarding locations served by the existing three bus systems, it will definitely provide access to places low-income residents need to go.
In DEIS Chapter 5, pages 5-5 and 5-6 show that while the overall percentage of low-income residents is 25% in Orange County and 26% in Durham County, within the D-O LRT Project’s study area, the percentage is 43%. Areas shaded with high concentrations of low-income residents can be found near most of the stations except for the stretch between Leigh Village station and Hamilton Rd station. See DEIS Figure 5.2-1 for more details.
Since the sales tax was enacted, GoTriangle, GoDurham and Chapel Hill Transit have all made bus service improvements that directly aid low-income riders.
• GoTriangle‘s Regional Sunday service has been requested for years by individuals working in service retail jobs; it is now a reality.
• GoDurham has begun building out a 15-minute frequent service network that now spans five corridors in the city, including along routes 3/16 in the Holloway Street corridor.
• Chapel Hill Transit has added late evening service in the summer months that previously did not run when school was not in session, giving evening workers on the UNC campus who do not own cars a much more cost-effective way home than an expensive cab ride.
• Orange Public Transportation is expanding rural demand response service in fall 2015 with deviated fixed-routes and adding midday service between Efland and Hillsborough.