Local News

Commuter rail ridership study announced

Posted March 19, 2009
Updated March 20, 2009

— The North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) has announced plans to conduct a commuter rail ridership and market study on the NCRR rail corridor through the Triangle and Triad.

The study, announced at the company’s "Progress in Motion: 2030" forum on Thursday, will focus on the rail corridor from Goldsboro to Greensboro. It is a follow-up to a study done last year, which determined rush-hour commuter trains can operate on NCRR tracks along with freight trains in that stretch.

The market study will examine where potential riders live and work and whether enough demand exists to make the project feasible.

The study is expected to take between six and nine months to complete.

NCRR owns a 317-mile right-of-way from Morehead City to Charlotte.

The railroad is a private company but has been wholly state-owned since 1998.


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  • hippygirl Mar 24, 2009

    YAY! Let's do it!

  • ahblid Mar 23, 2009

    colliedave wrote: "If the communters were to pay the full-cost of operating the train, it wouldn't be cheap! Taxpayers' $$$ underwrite the cost of the system. And we have nowhere near the dense infill of the D.C. area."

    The taxpayers underwrite all forms of transit, including the highways. Last year just at the Federal level, $8 Billion of our Income Tax dollars went into the Highway Trust Fund to keep it from going bankrupt. It's estimated that the HTF will need at least $9 Billion this year.

    With regard to the population density you don't need to be DC. Salt Lake City has a commuter rail line that serves two counties whose combined population is just about 500,000 people. That line was so successful in its first 6 months, that they've already broken ground on an extension.

  • DougWare.NET Mar 20, 2009


    You are right, but taxpayers underwrite most of the bus systems too.

  • colliedave Mar 20, 2009

    It was extremely convenient, **relatively cheap** and extremely quick.

    If the communters were to pay the full-cost of operating the train, it wouldn't be cheap! Taxpayers' $$$ underwrite the cost of the system. And we have nowhere near the dense infill of the D.C. area.

  • ncwebguy Mar 20, 2009

    For those who obviously failed reading comprehension:

    - the TTA study looked at rail from North Raleigh through downtown Raleigh to RTP and Durham. It didn't happen because assumptions made about non-NCRR segments of the route were changed during the designing/planning phase.

    The "finish line" to get federal financing was changed mid-race to divert funds to the war in Iraq, and Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr said "too bad, so sad." Dole's flip-flop leadership killed the project.

    The system would run all day (not just during rush hours) and run more frequently.

    - The NCRR study is conducted for commuter trains (a few a day) on tracks they own. The Morehead City to Charlotte line runs locally from Clayton to downtown Raleigh to Durham to Burlington to Greensboro.

    It is obvious that some people don't like studying anything, because that is actual work they'd rather not do.

  • Eeeee Mar 20, 2009

    Hooray! I can't wait for the rail system.

  • DougWare.NET Mar 20, 2009


    I have to differ with you a little. I live in RTP and work across from NC State's campus. When gas prices were up, it was standing room only on the bus. I've seen times where I was the only person on the bus, but those days are very rare. Buses are also inconvenient (mostly due to scheduling), so since gas prices have gone back down I currently drive myself to work again.

    If a rail system was properly planned and would be useful, I would have no problem with it. I took a trip recently to DC, and I honestly never drove anywhere near the city. I parked in Tyson's Corner (a suburb that I think is about the size of Clayton) and rode the subway everwhere I went. It was extremely convenient, relatively cheap and extremely quick.

    If I could drive a two or three miles, get on a train and ride to within 4 or 5 blocks of my destination, I would ride the rails everyday!

  • grimreaper Mar 20, 2009

    This commuter rail is a big hoax. Just look at the TTA buses that come out to RTP every day completely empty or with only a handful of people on them. The rail scheme will work no better as it is a matter of convenience and security.

  • scjabr Mar 20, 2009

    There would probably already be several rail systems in place for all the money that has been spent on "studies" by now! Just do it, and they (the commuters) will come. I don't see where CA or Washington's (or others, for that matter)rail systems have not been a success. But no, our leaders will approve an 18 million dollar per mile highway that will be choked with traffic in a few short years, and set up tolls to rob us of our money to use them. Go figure.

  • flashlight Mar 20, 2009

    How dare they study giving Triangle residents more options in moving from one place to another!

    I'll remain being a slave to my car and foreign oil, thank you!