Burlington city leaders to discuss bus transit system

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Burlington City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday on the possibility of developing a bus transit system.

Director of Development and Technical Services Nolan Kirkman said that council has been discussing a transit system since the mid-2000s.

Kirkman is one of the team members that have worked with the Transit and Planning team to research the cost and route options for the city.

If council approves the idea of a transit system the bus routes would be extended to area towns such as Elon, Gibsonville, Mebane and Graham.

The biggest hurdle for council, Kirkman said, is the price.

“The biggest cost is the buses and they’re about $400,000 a piece,” Kirkman said. “You need about six busses so you’re close to $2.5 million. Fortunately there are federal and state grants that cover about 90 percent of that upfront.”

In continuing operating costs, Kirkman said there are federal grants to cover about 50 percent of the costs.

“It’s a tough decision for council,” Kirkman said. “They’ve got to make that decision is transit needed in Burlington and is now the time to do it.”

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