During the environmental review of the project, members of the public, project stakeholders, and elected officials identified a number of potential refinements to the design of the project. GoTriangle committed to evaluate these proposals during project engineering. GoTriangle also committed to examine the feasibility of a NCCU Station as part of the [Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization's] 2045 MTP process.Terry Bellamy, the city's newly hired transportation director, said in a memo to city manager Tom Bonfield:
In the spring and summer of 2016, GoTriangle completed preliminary engineering and ridership forecasts for the NCCU Station in order to be prepared for work on the 2045 MTP that the DCHC-MPO would be conducting in the summer and fall of 2016. These analyses indicate that the NCCU Station is technically feasible and would generate very high ridership.
There is no direct financial impact for the City of Durham related to this decision. However, the proposed extension has cost implications that could affect the competitiveness and financial viability of the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project. The project’s local funding share is to be providedThe current estimates for the DOLRT come in between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion. Funding is split between federal, state, and local funds, with about half—hopefully—covered by the feds. As we know, in 2011 and 2012 Durham and Orange counties voted to approve a one-half cent sales tax to fund DOLRT (and other transportation-related matters). There, of course, has been some recent difficulty with state funding.
by the local sales tax and vehicle fees administered by GoTriangle. There may be additional City of Durham costs related to station area infrastructure, impacts to economic development, impacts to City transportation facilities and utilities, etc.
Due to growing activity downtown and to construction projects, especially the Main Street bridge replacement over Campus Drive, the frequency of service had to be scaled back to every 20 minutes during the day and every 25 minutes at night and on Saturdays in June of 2013. In 2015, in response to new apartment, hotel, and office development downtown and near Ninth Street, a desire to extend the service fartherNow the city is faced with some questions it needs to answer: Why has there been a reduction in ridership on the Connector? What are the peak times on weekdays and Saturdays? How does the service interact with other routes in the corridor? What would the impact be of returning the service to Durham Station?
west beyond the Duke Medical Center, and falling ridership on the existing route, the City and Duke University agreed to change the routing and frequency. As of August 2015, the new routing stayed on Main Street through downtown, rather than diverting to Durham Station, stayed on Main Street between Ninth Street and Anderson Street, rather than using Erwin Road, and extended to Research Drive on Duke’s West
Campus. The service frequency was improved to run every 17 minutes all day long on weekdays and Saturdays.