New improvements to the Durham Station Transportation Center are now one step closer to becoming reality thanks to millions in federal funding awarded earlier this week.
The City of Durham Transportation Department will receive $10.8 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to revitalize the exterior areas of Durham Station, providing functional improvements to address space needs, safety concerns, maintenance issues, and user-experience enhancements.
The project includes improvements to the bus island, including providing additional shade and weather protection through expanded canopies, more restrooms, additional seating, and a new customer service and security kiosk. Not only will this federal award fund these improvements, it will also allow the GoDurham system to grow. In addition to the bus island, the improvements will relocate the kiss-and-ride location to optimize the existing site, provide needed pavement repairs, and increase the number of bus bays from 20 to 28, allowing for increased transit service.
“The City of Durham is most grateful to U.S. Rep. David Price for his letter of support for this project,” said Mayor Elaine O’Neal. “With this federal funding, we can improve safety and customer comfort for the thousands of riders who use Durham Station every day while also expanding capacity to run more buses, including larger articulated buses used for Bus Rapid Transit.”
Construction of these improvements will also help advance the City’s Racial Equity vision to improve the quality of life, access to transit, and health of Durham residents.
“GoDurham provides 20,000 daily riders with an affordable and reliable transportation option and is vital since many of our riders are essential workers, seniors, students, and low-wealth individuals with limited transportation options,” said Director Sean C. Egan with the City’s Transportation Department. “80% of GoDurham riders are people of color, 72% of GoDurham riders report household incomes of less than $25,000, and two-thirds live in zero-car households. GoDurham is their transportation, and improvements to our busiest transit facility will allow us to continue providing equitable access to transit and improve connections to employment and educational opportunities for historically disadvantaged Justice40 communities.”
Now that $10.8 million in federal funding has been allocated to cover 80% of this $13.5 million project, the local match of $2.7 million for construction as well as funding to complete design can be provided as part of the 2022 update to the Durham County Transit Plan, as shown in all scenarios presented to the community in 2021.
The City’s Transportation Department is currently partnering with the City’s General Services Department to finalize the design of the improvements. While additional community engagement is needed to inform the final design, construction could begin in summer 2023, and will take about one year to complete.
During project construction, Durham Station will continue to operate since construction will be done in phases beginning with reconfiguring the kiss-and-ride area into functional bus bays, which will then allow the buses to shift over once construction begins in the main bay area.
Currently, Durham Station serves 19 GoDurham routes, five GoTriangle routes as well as intercity service providers Greyhound, Megabus, and Flixbus.