GoTriangle speakers presented local transit plans and the Orange-Durham light rail project on Wednesday to UNC students at a meeting held by Carolina Urbanists.
Carolina Urbanists is a student organization that aims to help students learn about sustainable city and regional planning and to raise awareness about urban issues.
John Thompson, co-president of Carolina Urbanists, said he chose this topic because it is hotly debated.
"It’s a very relevant topic. It definitely will have an impact on UNC students in the future,” he said.
Andrew Willard, public involvement specialist at GoTriangle, said voters in Durham and Orange counties approved a half-cent sales tax in 2011 and 2012 to invest in transit service in the counties.
“So that is really important because we have a permanent funding source,” he said. “Not every transit provider has that. And it also represents the community saying, ‘We value transit.’”
The transit plans for Durham and Orange counties include better bus service, improved stops and shelters for people waiting for buses, the light rail project and the commuter rail project.
He also said the commuter rail and light rail systems will serve as the spines for the regional transit system, and buses will serve the outer parts of the counties.
“(The light rail) is going to be a 45-minute trip, end to end, from (North Carolina Central University) to UNC, regardless of traffic,” he said.