Transit planners are nailing down details, including the locations of four Raleigh train stops, for a $655 million plan to run rush-hour commuter trains between Duke in West Durham and Garner by 2019. (See today's Road Worrier with reader comments).
You can read tons of details on the buses-commuter trains-light rail plans for Wake, Durham and Orange counties at the ourtransitfuture.com website. It took some searching but I finally found the July 2011 Alternatives Analysis reports on this page. (Note: When you see mention of the "Durham-Wake" corridor, that's the commuter trains. There are separate light-rail studies for the "Durham-Orange" and "Wake" lines.)
The Wake County commissioners face a big vote in May (probably after the primary election) on whether to approve an ambitious plan for more buses, new commuter trains and new light rail trains in that chronological order. And whether to let voters decide in November whether to pay for a lot of it with a half-cent sales tax that would be dedicated to transit needs.
But Triangle Transit wants to get a quick endorsement in the next few weeks of the commuter rail portion, so it can move forward with other studies that would be necessary before it can file an application in August for federal transit grants. Triangle Transit says we can beef up bus service and start the commuter trains running without federal help.
But we'll definitely need federal help to build the light rail line, and we wouldn't say no to federal money to help out with the commuter trains.