Durham County dedicates additional transit revenue to help reduce light-rail funding gap

Durham and Orange counties’ boards of commissioners proposed in August updating their Cost-Sharing Agreement to provide an additional $57.6 million in voter-approved, dedicated transit revenue from Durham County to help close an additional funding gap for the light-rail project.

The previous financial plan for the project assumed that the State of North Carolina would contribute $247.6 million – about 10 percent – to the light-rail project. However, in June 2018, the approved state budget limited the project’s total state funding to $190 million, leaving a gap of $57.6 million.

Durham County stated its dedicated transit revenues are sufficient to cover the revenue shortfall, so all bus service in the Durham County Transit Plan would go forward as planned.

An additional $102.5 million in light-rail project funding is planned to come from other public and private sources, including property donations through the GoTransit Partners’ Capital Campaign.

The light-rail project remains eligible for approximately $1.25 billion in federal funding, which is 50 percent of the project’s expected cost. When built, the light rail will stop at 19 stations between Chapel Hill and Durham and help residents get to jobs, education and health care with ease, reduce congestion on our roads and improve quality of life.