Chapel Hill Transit will make one more push for public input this week before drafting its recommendation for the future bus-rapid transit corridor planned from Eubanks Road to Southern Village.
BRT relies on dedicated lanes, priority at traffic signals and platform-level boarding to deliver more efficient bus service.
There are three options for putting BRT buses on the road: in lanes shared with car traffic, in a dedicated side lane, or in dedicated lane down the center of a major road, such as MLK Boulevard.
Each option is featured in a North-South Corridor concept video – vimeo.com/148875630.
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The public will have three chances to stop by open house sessions – Thursday and Friday, Jan. 20-21 – to learn more and give their opinions on six proposed alternatives for platform design and lane configuration.
The North-South Corridor Alternatives Analysis, which started last year, is the first of many steps toward securing federal funding and building the bus-rapid transit line. The roughly 7.3-mile route being planned would follow Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and U.S. 15-501 South, with major stops downtown, at UNC’s main and future Carolina North campuses and UNC Hospitals.
Transit officials also expect the project to boost economic development around the future stops.
Project development and environmental impact studies will follow, paid for with 80 percent federal funding. The transit partners – Chapel Hill, Carrboro and UNC – will recommend a locally preferred alternative to the Chapel Hill Town Council based on public input and study results.
The approved alternative will be submitted to the regional Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and the Federal Transportation Administration for consideration in funding decisions.
An FTA decision could come by 2017, transit officials estimate, with construction tentatively scheduled to happen by 2020.
Three public outreach meetings will be held this week to gather input on the proposed bus rapid transit line, potential alignments, station locations and more. The meetings are scheduled:
▪ Jan. 20, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UNC Children’s Hospital
▪ Jan. 20, 4 to 6 p.m. in the lobby next to Rasa Malaysia Restaurant in Southern Village, 410 Market St. in Chapel Hill
▪ Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UNC Carolina Union, West Lounge, 3103 South Road in Chapel Hill
More information and a conceptual video of how the bus-rapid transit system could be added to the existing road network can be found at www.NSCStudy.org. Comments can be submitted Jan. 20-31 to the website or via email to info@NSCstudy.org.