County invites comments about rural bus plan

tgrubb@newsobserver.comMay 16, 2014 

  • What’s next?

    You can learn more about the changes and offer comments at four public meetings this month:

    • 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, May 19, at the Northern Human Services Center, 5800 N.C. 86

    • 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, in the Mebane City Council Chambers, 106 E. Washington St., Mebane

    • 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22, in the Town Barn, 101 E. Orange St., Hillsborough (parking on East Corbin Street)

    • 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Efland-Cheeks Community Center, 117 Richmond Road, Efland

    Written comments can be emailed to OCBUSPLAN@orangecountync.gov or call 919-245-2336. Find more information at bit.ly/1nFgqM0 and bit.ly/1sJJfGR.

— New bus services are coming for residents who live outside the Chapel Hill Transit service area.

Orange Public Transit and Triangle Transit are planning new bus services over the next five years in Orange County’s unincorporated areas. The changes are part of the Orange Bus and Rail Investment Plan, which the county commissioners approved in October 2012.

All routes are expected to be fare-free.

Orange County will host four public meetings in partnership with Triangle Transit (see below) and forward residents’ comments to the commissioners, who could formally adopt the five-year plan June 3.

Officials will be available at the meetings to address several proposed services:

July 2014

• Demand response transit for seniors and residents with disabilities would add door-to-door service for running errands, going shopping and getting to non-medical appointments.

• New western and eastern routes connecting northern Orange County with Hillsborough

• Afternoon service to Orange County’s senior centers could add three hours

August 2014

• Daily, five-hour weekday service could connect Mebane, the Buckhorn area and Efland with Hillsborough and Durham

• Orange-Durham Express (ODX) could launch the first leg of a Mebane-Efland-Hillsborough-Durham route

January 2015

• Commuter loop added between Efland and Hillsborough

• Route 420 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough could add six hours and a stop in Cedar Grove

July 2015

• Noontime service for Hillsborough’s circulator bus

A half-cent sales tax that voters approved in 2012 and an extra $7 county vehicle registration fee will pay for the changes. The state could start collecting an additional $3 vehicle registration fee to support Triangle Transit’s regional bus services in January.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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