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All Tracks Lead to Bull City Rail Hub

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DURHAM — The Triangle's transit system is in trouble. Highways are clogged with far more cars then they were designed to handle. Now Durham thinks it has a solution-- a one-stop plan to get people out of cars and into mass transit.

Railroad tracks next to a building are an amenity according to Bill Kalkhof, President of Downtown Durham, Inc. Kalkhof and other Durham leaders think the tracks are in just the right spot for a landmark development project.

The city is considering two sites for a multi-modal transportation center. Existing Amtrak rail lines, new commuter rail lines, bus routes and taxis would all come together at a downtown hub. Officials are considering the Hill Building on the American Tobacco property, or the Walker Building on the Liggett and Myers Tobacco complex.

"Either one of them have clear benefits to them, and that allows us to compare the two and see which one might be less expensive, which one in the long term might help us," says Kalkhof. "But both sites are good sites."

Durham's current train station doesn't attract much activity. Planners hope the multi-modal transportation station will draw shops, restaurants and people. People who already use mass transit hope it's a convenient link to other stops in the Triangle, other stops like RDU.

Officials are studying the two sites, and hope to make a decision in three months.

Durham voters approved a $5.2 million dollar bond package in 1996 that will help pay for the new station.