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Update from Regional Transportation Alliance

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Presentation made by Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance at Lights, Camera, Advocacy! on Feb. 22, 2017

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Update from Regional Transportation Alliance

  1. 1. RTA perspectives and engagement on Accelerating Multimodal Transportation Solutions for the Western Triangle Joe Milazzo II, PE, RTA Executive Director Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Economic Development and Public Policy Committee Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
  2. 2. • 100 companies • 23 member chambers of commerce • Strong public and private partners • Executive volunteers in 11 focus areas, from freeways and transit to policy and tech innovation • Dedicated RTA professional staff About the RTA business coalition
  3. 3. RTA engagement on transit
  4. 4. RTA engagement on transit Led RTA intercity trips since 2005 including: San Diego, Dallas, Denver, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, Austin, N. Virginia
  5. 5. Coordinated Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS), now in 3 counties RTA engagement on transit
  6. 6. Pushed bus rapid transit-based approach for Wake Co. transit plan RTA engagement on transit
  7. 7. Led media/communications strategy for Wake transit campaign RTA engagement on transit
  8. 8. RTA transit engagement in the western Triangle
  9. 9. RTA multimodal focus in western Triangle • Supported referenda in Durham and Orange counties 2011-12 • Continue to support repeal of rail funding cap in legislature • Suggested dual use with Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber in 2016 • Created Multimodal 54 initiative with GoTriangle in 2016 • Supported Durham-Orange extension to NC Central in 2016 • Elevated “3eBRT” concept for corridor in 2017
  10. 10. RTA multimodal focus in western Triangle Created Multimodal 54 initiative with GoTriangle in 2016 FOCUS: Immediate and shorter-term opportunities to enhance the multimodal performance of portions of the NC 54 corridor to the west of the I-40 interchange/exit 270.
  11. 11. RTA multimodal focus in western Triangle Created Multimodal 54 initiative with GoTriangle in 2016
  12. 12. High-capacity transit for Durham-Orange corridor
  13. 13. Durham-Orange light rail corridor
  14. 14. Rationale for light rail in Durham-Orange corridor • Known, proven technology • Electric propulsion, no point source emissions • Dedicated, fixed corridor • Predictable travel time, over time • High performance as usage grows • Track record of focusing development along fixed rail corridors
  15. 15. Status of light rail in Durham-Orange corridor • Referenda in 2011, 2012 based on plan that included light rail • Broad support for project • Completed environmental document, including NCCU extension • Current funding and financing framework
  16. 16. 3eBRT approach RTA business coalition recently endorsed a fully-electric, enhanced, exclusive bus rapid transit (“3e” BRT) alternative for the Durham-Chapel Hill corridor, As a means to potentially accelerate and enhance the Durham-Orange corridor and our regional transit future.
  17. 17. Risks associated with 3eBRT approach • Additional environmental study required for 3eBRT concept • Federal funding for engineering this spring would not apply to 3eBRT • 3eBRT not permitted within NC Railroad corridor in Downtown Durham • Potential for lower speeds if 3eBRT on shared Downtown Durham streets • Lower per-vehicle capacity • Concerns about impact on traffic at crossings
  18. 18. • Lack of familiarity with 3eBRT concept • No guarantee of future federal or state funding • Would require a significant pivot in approach to pursue a 3eBRT concept • Limited support at present time Additional risks associated with 3eBRT approach
  19. 19. Landscape as of early 2017 • State funding continues to be more limited than previously expected • Potential for additional local funding requests to keep project moving • Light rail projected opening date delayed to 2028 • Bonding payments expected to continue until 2062 • Limited local funding for vital regional connections, e.g. commuter rail • All three counties have passed referenda for dedicated local funding • Bus rapid transit has evolved, and continues to progress
  20. 20. Elements outside our community’s control • Federal funding eligibility and support • State funding eligibility and support • Our economy and impact on local sales tax revenue • Growth in local market • Impact on future ridership levels and travel preferences
  21. 21. RTA business coalition: analysis framework • What mobility problem(s) are we trying to solve right now? • What problem(s) are we trying to anticipate and solve in the future?
  22. 22. • Sources of risk and uncertainty – financial and technological • Opportunity costs of local funding and time • 10, 20, 30 years from now, what would we most regret having not done? RTA business coalition: analysis framework
  23. 23. 3eBRT approach RTA business coalition has endorsed a fully-electric, enhanced, exclusive bus rapid transit (“3e” BRT) alternative for the Durham-Chapel Hill corridor, As a means to potentially accelerate and enhance the Durham-Orange corridor and our regional transit future.
  24. 24. RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT • Bus Rapid Transit performed well in 2012 Alternatives Analysis • Electric buses now exist and feasible, while costs have fallen • Bus Rapid Transit expanding in U.S. • 5 bus rapid transit corridors opening within decade here • Transit oriented development demonstrated nationally around bus rapid transit
  25. 25. Performed well in 2012 Alternatives Analysis RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  26. 26. Electric buses now exist and feasible, while costs have fallen RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  27. 27. Transit oriented development demonstrated nationally around BRT RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  28. 28. 5 bus rapid transit corridors approved and opening within decade RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  29. 29. • 3eBRT could start immediately • Scalable solution; dedicated segments could be added over time • Enhanced regional connections via interlining • Could add external stations to emphasize “one seat, no transfer required” connectivity RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  30. 30. RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT • Enhanced regional connections via interlining • Can add external stations to emphasize “one seat, no transfer required” connectivity • Higher effective frequency within the corridor
  31. 31. • Enhanced regional connections via interlining • Can add external stations to emphasize “one seat, no transfer required” connectivity • Higher effective frequency within the corridor RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  32. 32. • 3eBRT could operate within corridor between hospitals • 3eBRT could operate on NC 147, I-40 freeways RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  33. 33. • 3eBRT could operate on existing streets • Potential for reduced impact on traffic at crossings RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  34. 34. • Lower required capital costs, and overall capital costs • Lower federal funding requirements RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  35. 35. Could free up funding to advance commuter rail and other regional linkages RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  36. 36. Automation/technological innovation has accelerated RTA rationale for considering 3eBRT
  37. 37. • Support high-capacity linkage between Durham and Chapel Hill • Supported referenda in Durham and Orange counties 2011-12 • Supported Durham-Orange extension to NC Central in 2016 • Continue to support repeal of rail funding cap in legislature • Support federal funding for regional transit RTA and Durham-Orange corridor
  38. 38. • Referenda in 2011, 2012 based on plan that included light rail • Completed environmental document, including NCCU extension • Current funding and financing framework • Broad support for project Status of light rail in Durham-Orange corridor
  39. 39. "The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not too sure it is right." - Judge Learned Hand
  40. 40. RTA perspectives and engagement on Accelerating Multimodal Transportation Solutions for the Western Triangle Joe Milazzo II, PE, RTA Executive Director Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Economic Development and Public Policy Committee Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

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