Future Village Transit Center to create a new mobility hub near The Village Shopping Center
A federal grant will cover costs to plan for a new mobility hub to better serve people who travel in a busy area of East Durham.
What You Need to Know
- Durham awarded $292,500 federal grant to draft Phase I plans for a new Village Transit Center (VTC) mobility hub.
- If constructed, VTC would be in East Durham where Holloway Street, North Miami Boulevard, and Raynor Street intersect at The Village Shopping Center, which ranks second after downtown’s Durham Station for the most GoDurham passengers.
- A future VTC would provide new accommodations for people with disabilities, comfortable waiting areas, quick stops, and reliable bus arrival times.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced a $292,500 grant from the Areas of Persistent Poverty program to the City of Durham to fund a draft plan for the new Village Transit Center (VTC) near The Village Shopping Center in East Durham.
Just east of downtown, this area was selected because it ranks second after Durham Station for the most GoDurham passengers with more than 3,200 people riding the GoDurham Route 3 family of services each day. At daytime peak, 45 passengers may ride Route 3 in one hour, compared to an average of 27 per hour for GoDurham as a whole. It was also chosen due to GoDurham rider feedback shared in a spring 2021 survey which reported complaints about accessibility challenges and safety concerns.
According to Transportation Director Sean Egan, a future VTC in East Durham could provide new accommodations for people with disabilities, comfortable waiting areas, quick stops, and reliable bus arrival times. “We have more than 1,500 daily boardings at the Village, and with this award, we take the next step toward providing facilities with shelter, seating, and lighting, along with access to Durham Connect and other mobility services for people to complete the first and last miles of their trips,” Egan said.
The total estimated cost for Phase I of the VTC is $365,625, and local funding for project planning is included in the City of Durham Transit Fund. Phase I will include preliminary recommendations for amenities, access to transit design considerations, transit operational changes, conceptual layout design, and planning-level cost estimates.
The future VTC for East Durham is also part of the citywide Better Bus Project. In 2021, Transportation staff began to identify projects that could provide equitable access to transit, increase pedestrian safety and better connect people to businesses, trails, and greenways.
A new mobility hub also aligns with the City’s Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan which encourages solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040. Currently, GoDurham buses on Route 3 can sit idle at stops on Raynor Street while waiting for their departure time. According to Egan, that could change if a VTC is constructed since chargers could be installed allowing electric buses to recharge during down time. Eventually, the VTC could also include micro-mobility services like scooters, bike share, and technology that improves trip plans and arrival announcements.
The FTA grant award is for the creation of a draft plan as well as real estate and market analysis. If funding from other sources can be secured for future phases, including final design and construction, the VTC could be completed within the next five years. Updates will be posted on the department’s project webpage as planning develops.