For better or for worse, our local media works hard to give equal air time to both sides of the story. Some may fault them as giving too much voice to an opinion which represents a small minority of residents, others may thank them for giving life to a discussion. Regardless of what you think, it's sometimes difficult to cut through the noise. So where does the community stand on the whole? First, here's what our local media outlets have had to say after their editorial boards examined both sides of the transit debate. All three have endorsed voting for the referendum:
- The Chapel Hill News: "If we build it, they will come. But if we don’t build it, they will come anyway. They will come and put increasing development pressure on our rural areas, clog up the roads, consume ever more oil, pump ever more exhaust into the air, and make your drive home even longer and more frustrating than it already is."
- The Daily Tar Heel: "The Triangle has to decide what sort of future it wants for itself as it grows and develops. Should it eschew transit and rely on cars and roads, potentially risking becoming a congested mess? Or should it plan for the future by embracing the need for improved transit options at the cost of a slightly higher tax rate? The answer is clear. The small tax increase — which amounts to an extra nickel on a $10 purchase — is worth it."
- The Independent Weekly: "Getting cars off the road and people into buses and trains is important not only to ease traffic congestion but to improve the region's air quality. That's why we're saying vote FOR on a half-cent sales tax to fund expanded bus and light rail investments in Orange County. Durham County voters passed a similar measure last year."
- The Orange County Democratic Party
- The Orange-Chatham Sierra Club
- The Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
- The Regional Transportation Alliance
- The Orange County Cultural Center
- The Walkable Hillsborough Coalition
"I am a strong supporter of transportation solutions that will relieve the increasing congestion problems in our area. I feel that we should vote for the half cent sales tax so that solution can come about." - Ellie Kinnaird, NC State Senator"North Carolinians of several generations have been working to expand transit throughout the Triangle and the Piedmont and to D.C. It’s time we did out part to make it a reality. Vote YES on the transit tax. Let’s catch up with Charlotte." - Verla Insko, NC State Representative
"The transit ballot referendum during this year’s election is crucial to reducing congestion and maintaining the quality of life and livability that makes Chapel Hill unique among American cities. The transit tax will enhance bus hours, provide for a 17 mile light rail line between downtown Durham and the southern part of UNC’s campus, provide additional park and ride lots, and fund a commuter rail station in Hillsborough. Vote ‘Yes’ on the ‘One-Half Percent Local Sales and Use Tax’ on the back of this year’s ballot. This transit referendum will provide us with the necessary infrastructure to meet the growing needs of our community and maintain our quality of life for future generations in our community." - Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill"Orange County Voters: After 20 years of planning, this November we get to vote on bringing Light Rail and expanded bus service to the Triangle. Please join me in voting FOR the 1/2 cent sales tax referendum!" - Mark Chilton, Mayor of Carrboro"The funding directly benefits folks in the greater Hillsborough area by supporting additional bus service and the Amtrak station, and benefits everyone in the county as an investment in managing our future growth. Flip your ballot and vote yes for transit." – Tom Stevens, Mayor of Hillsborough
"Transit is the infrastructure for our future. It will help foster a positive business climate and it will provide an affordable alternative to cars." – Bernadette Pelissier, Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners"Help Orange County prepare for growth, protect our environment, and enhance economic development. Vote ‘Yes’ for the 1/2 cent sales and use tax for transit." - Valerie Foushee, Orange County Board of Commissioners"Regional planning and long-range vision are essential to the well-being of Orange County and its residents. As a member of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, I've been proud to foster such linkages, including work on a robust public transit system that will better serve our internal needs and connect us to neighboring jurisdictions. I support the referendum on transit funding because its success means improved access to employment, retail, and cultural opportunities, to reducing traffic impacts, and to an easier path for those who don't want or can't afford cars to remain integral parts of our community." - Barry Jacobs, Orange County Board of Commissioners"The main reason for voters to support the transit referendum is to provide a rail connection from UNC and Chapel Hill to Duke and other destinations in Durham." - Alice Gordon, Orange County Board of Commissioners
"Public transportation in America is a vital resource, and is key to a strong economy and a clean environment. The future transit plan will create a link between all the communities of Orange County, providing residents with affordable access to the places they live, work, learn and play. We should not delay our vote to support the light rail and bus rapid transit system. If we plan on moving economic development forward, we must have a 21st century transit system in place." - Penny Rich, Chapel Hill Town Council"Transit it vital to our region to manage our growth. Now is the time to invest and plan for our future. I'm voting for the transit referendum." - Lee Storrow, Chapel Hill Town Council"Every time I drive up MLK Blvd at 5:30 pm and wait through 4 or 5 light cycles to get through the intersection at Estes, I think about how our town is growing generally and we really cannot accommodate much more automobile traffic in the future. Transit is our future." - Laurin Easthom, Chapel Hill Town Council"This transit plan is not the only answer, but it is an important part of the answer, just like our economic development plan, our educational system, and how we develop our land over the next 50 years. We are supporting these things now to create the future we desire – walkable, livable, sustainable." - Donna Bell, Chapel Hill Town Council
"Passage of the transit tax will benefit the county as a whole – by helping our county’s workforce and other passengers move around efficiently, by informing our long-term land use planning, by helping us to avoid sprawl and create well-placed economic development opportunities, and by reducing our carbon emissions." - Lydia Lavelle, Carrboro Board of Aldermen"I support the transit referendum because it will provide increased bus service and transit improvements in a time when folks are struggling to fill gas tanks due to economic challenges. Transit enhancements will provide an opportunity for more people to be less dependent on their vehicles which is not only good for our environment but for people wanting to travel more easily to the places where they live and work. In addition, transit makes sense for our progressive community as we expect growth in the future we need to meet growth with sensible solutions and enhancements that make our community more livable." - Michelle Johnson, Carrboro Board of Aldermen"The transit referendum is a no-brainer, combined with high density land use corridors it puts us on track away from outdated modes of transportation that are causal to climate change." - Sammy Slade, Carrboro Board of Aldermen"Increased transit funding is essential to limit land disturbance for roads and parking lots, decrease carbon emissions, and, quite simply, to efficiently get tens thousands of people where they need to go each day. Please join me in voting for the Orange County transit referendum." - Dan Coleman, Carrboro Board of Aldermen