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Posted on: May 9, 2019

Make your voice heard on public transit's future in Orange County

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The Draft Fiscal Year 2020 Durham and Orange County Work Plans are now available for comment through May 30, 2019. These work plans are derived from the multi-county transit plans. The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

This process budgets funding for next fiscal year in accordance with the multi-year County Transit Plans. Durham and Orange counties are committed to improving transit in the Triangle, and receiving input from the community is essential to this success.

The Triangle Tax District manages the funds of the combined Durham and Orange Transit Plans. Each County is governed by a separate plan and oversight group, called the Staff Working Group (SWG), which reviews projects funded through each county’s Transit Plan. The SWG recommends projects for funding and develops the annual work plan, which is presented here as the Draft Work Plan.

The FY20 Durham and Orange Work Plan was released for a 21-day public comment period on May 9, 2019. The public comment period will end on May 30, 2019. All comments can be made to Aaron Cain of the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Transportation Organization (DCHC MPO) at (919) 560-4366 x36443.

Upon completion of the public comment period, and adjustments made to the Work Plan based on the public comments, a Final Draft Work Plan will be brought before the Durham and Orange SWGs for a recommendation on June 5, 2019. The SWGs will make a recommendation to the GoTriangle Board, which adopts the Work Plan as part of the GoTriangle Budget, per the Interlocal Agreement adopted by GoTriangle, DCHC MPO, and Durham and Orange counties. GoTriangle administers the Tax District Funds.

The FY20 Work Plans are an annual implementation of the Durham and Orange County Transit Plans, adopted in April 2017. These plans provide dedicated funding for transit in the two counties. This local funding supports seamless mobility within and between not only Durham and Orange Counties, but also to Wake, Alamance and Chatham Counties.

Tax District Funds are generated from a ½ cent sales tax, two vehicle registration fees ($7 and $3, respectively), and a vehicle rental tax. Through the annual Work Plans, funds are allocated from the Tax District fund. The Tax District has collected revenues since 2013, and has allocated funding since 2014. The services and capital investments funded by the Tax District Fund include:

  • Providing greater frequency and more hours on many bus routes;
  • Creating new routes to serve growth;
  • Making improvements to transit infrastructure such as bus stops and park-and-ride lots; and
  • Planning for major transit infrastructure, such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or Commuter Rail (CRT).

Transit Plan funds also support the long-term health of the region’s transit systems, providing money to replace an aging fleet. These investments make it easier for residents to move around Durham and Orange counties, support equitable access to jobs and services, and connect our universities, neighborhoods, and employment centers. The investments are modern – they incorporate standards for ADA access and Complete Streets, and with Wifi capacity, our buses bring information access to the systems riders.

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