Local News

TTA Officials Consider Budget Cuts For Proposed Rail System

Posted September 19, 2005 3:50 a.m. EDT

— The price tag for the Triangle Transit Authority's

regional rail proposal

keeps climbing higher and officials keep trimming the frills.

Under the proposal, there would be 12 rail stops between Durham and Wake counties. TTA officials said they want to cut the number of rail cars that would be used in the new system. Previously, officials had wanted 24 cars to travel in the Triangle area. They now want to reduce the number of cars to 14.

There is also discussion about simplifying the design of the proposed station in downtown Raleigh. TTA officials said their latest slash of the budget is due to the rise of steel and concrete costs across the world.

Despite the budget cuts, TTA General Manager John Claflin said the project is not coming off the tracks.

"The vision is that we have an alternative," he said. With the rising costs of gasoline, the air quality issues that we have in the region, the congestion that we are starting to see more of on (Interstate) 40, it is absolutely, in my mind, positively necessary to come up with an alternative for the future."

The proposed cuts would slice up to $88.1 million from their projected cost. The total cost for the project is expected to be $689 million.