Ken Larsen's web site - March 7, 2017 DOLRT speech to BOCC by Joan Guilkey

 

I am a long-time resident and recall conversations in the late 90ís with Nobel Laureate George Hitchings about his vision for light rail.  He saw it reaching RTP and the airport and Raleigh, as well as UNC and Duke.

I shared his enthusiasm, but we both knew it was not practical in our lifetimes.  It was fun to dream.

 

Now that dream has become a nightmare.  Costs are skyrocketing.  The risks from over-runs, long term debt and service issues will fall to us taxpayers.  But we wonít see much benefit.  

 

We were told that $1.3 billion would cover all costs, but now we hear the cost is at least $2.5 billion and the train wonít operate until 2029.   State and federal partners we thought were contributing up to 75% of the cost are backing away.  Wake Co. is out.  GoTriangle wants to borrow almost $1 billion and tax payers will have to repay that loan, not GoT.  We did not intend this to happen.

 

I voted for the l/2cent tax in 2012, but I did not vote for this.      

I believe Bus Rapid Transit can do a much better job of meeting total taxpayer transit needs, do it much sooner, and at about 1/10 the cost of light rail.  But I am not making this decision; YOU ARE.

 

Please take charge of the process.  Demand transparency.

 

We are relying on you Commissioners to protect Orange Co. interests.  We will help you and staff in any ways we can, but letís have full disclosure of real facts and key issues and the risks of this project.  Please schedule a public hearing.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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