Congressman Price Issues Statement on Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project
WASHINGTON, DC (February 28, 2019) – Congressman David Price (D-NC) released a statement following the recent news on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project (DOLRT):
“I am profoundly disappointed by the failure of local stakeholders to negotiate the agreements with GoTriangle necessary for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project to proceed,” said Congressman Price.
“This project holds the potential to enhance mobility and equity in the Research Triangle and guide future development in a region that is growing rapidly. It is also the crucial first step in a region-wide transit plan that also includes enhanced bus service, bus rapid transit, and Garner-Raleigh-Cary-RTP-Durham commuter rail—a plan which is broadly supported by voters, elected officials, the business community, and a diverse array of community leaders, and which has advanced on its own merits through a highly competitive federal funding process.
“In the face of a hostile General Assembly that has targeted the project with unreasonable restrictions, state and local leaders have worked tirelessly and creatively to maintain the project’s eligibility for nearly $1.5 billion in state and federal funding. Critical local stakeholders, particularly Duke University and the North Carolina Railroad, made ever-escalating demands to which GoTriangle has responded in good faith and at considerable cost. They raised new issues with the DOLRT alignment, which has been known for years, and are now demanding expensive indemnification agreements. These extravagant requests unravel years of hard work to improve our region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life.
“As the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I am committed to continuing to work with local partners in support of expanding public transit alternatives for our region. But make no mistake: this is a historic setback from which it will take years, if not decades, to recover.”