Light Rail Durham To Chapel Hill

Our Transit Future, or OTF, once known as Triangle Regional Transit Program (TRT) is a research program that studies investment opportunities within Orange, Durham, and Wake counties. OTF is a subsidiary of Triangle Transit, the Research Triangle area regional bus and shuttle service. Triangle Transit is the public transportation system which operates within and between city municipalities in the Research Triangle area–Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill–to provide daily and special event busing, rail, and other transportation needs (paratransit services; ridematching for car and vanpools) across and within Orange, Durham, and Wake counties.

Triangle Transit provides regional service across the municipalities located in each of the three counties, while localized city and university systems operate their own lines within their respective territories. The Capital Area Transit (CAT), Wolfline (NC State University bus line) and the Cary C-Train serve Wake County public transit needs. Chapel Hill Transit (UNC bus line) and Orange County Public Transportation serve Orange County. Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA) and Duke Transit (Duke University bus line) service Durham public transportation needs.

OTF is currently under way to create a new 17-mile “Light Rail Transit” line between Durham County and Orange County. The line will serve the residential and retail areas of Chapel Hill and Durham according to the latest press release from the OTF group. The elevated, overground rail line will begin by UNC Hospitals with stops at the Dean Dome, Mason Farm Rd., cross over Manning Drive and Fordham Blvd., and follow Fordham Blvd. on the way to Durham. Other stops include a Hamilton Rd. station, before the line diverges and heads along Highway 54, the other of which follows the boundaries of the Finley Golf Course. Near Friday Center Drive, multiple options for the railway to continue to Durham are under consideration. The light rail line will eventually meet up run parallel to Highway 15-501, and veer to meet Erwin Rd. with stations at La Salle St., presumably the Duke Hospital campus, 9th St., Buchanan Blvd.. A Durham stop station will be situated by the Amtrack Platform in downtown Durham. Other stops beyond the heart of downtown include Dillard St. station, and a station at Alston Ave/NCCU campus.

The line will affect state and private business, as well as residential areas during and after construction. Among those to be affected include local roadways in and around Chapel Hill and Durham.

A Durham-Wake Corridor is also under construction, and will be a 37 mile line with 12 proposed stations. This line will serve as a commuter rail line that follows the NC Railroad Company line from Duke Medical Center through the RTP, Cary, and Raleigh, to the edge of Wake County. This line will serve as the backbone for the OTF proposed corridor from Durham-Orange county, and serve residents, students, and employees an easy means of transportation to and from the area’s highly populated business and residential sectors.

Information on different bus and rail lines can be found online on the Triangle Transit website. Helpful apps for public transportation users on the go is “Next Bus,” which provides real-time updates on bus lines running in the area. For more information on OTF future projects and current construction, visit their website at