The financial picture for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit (D-O LRT) Project has improved. During a financial update at the January 4th work session, the GoTriangle Board of Trustees learned that existing transit revenues are projected to have the capacity to pay for the 17.7 mile, 18-station project without requiring additional local sources of funding.
“Working with our financial advisor and financial modeler, we have been able to refine the financing plan to be able to fund the Project with the existing, identified funds from the one-half cent sales tax,” said Danny Rogers, Project Director for the D-O LRT Project. “With their support we identified ways to structure project debt to better match revenues and expenditures. We will continue working closely with all of our local partners to provide future financial protections, but this restructuring greatly reduces the likelihood of needing any additional local funding sources to begin construction.”
GoTriangle recently began working with The PFM Group, a financial advisor known for its work with debt structuring and collaboration with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
GoTriangle will continue to seek right-of-way donations and additional resources such as the recent written letters from the City of Durham, Durham County, and Orange County to work to find additional sources of local revenue so that the project will be able to handle unforeseen circumstances, such as a financial downturn or lower-than-expected growth rates.
One of the changes made after the financial analysis will be to open the project in 2028 instead of 2026.
GoTriangle recently submitted the updated financial plan as part of its request to enter the FTA’s Engineering Phase on behalf of Durham and Orange counties. The agency expects to know more about the status of the request in late February.
The FTA is expected to fund 50 percent of the project, contingent on the remaining 50 percent coming from a combination of existing dedicated transit funding and state funds.
For more information, contact Mike Charbonneau, 919-485-7413 or Brad Schulz, 919-483-7434.