DFU Statement Urging Duke to Support GoTriangle Light-Rail Project

GoTriangle’s Light-Rail Project is one of the most ambitious and significant infrastructure development plans ever undertaken in the Durham/Chapel Hill area. The economic and social benefits that a reliable, affordable, and convenient transit system will make are undisputed. The vast majority of local organizations, businesses, and academic institutions have enthusiastically put their support behind this well-researched, carefully planned project. As the largest employer in Durham, Duke University and its affiliated Health Systems stand to gain tremendously from the increased access to and from campuses, hospitals, downtown, and neighboring universities. The University must sign a Cooperation Agreement to pledge its commitment to the light-rail project this or else years of hard work and diligent, transparent planning will be wasted and over $1 billion in Federal funding for the project will be lost. North Carolinians’ tax dollars should be brought back to the Triangle to bolster our green infrastructure and improve access to medical facilities, schools, and shopping centers for as many residents as possible, especially those without personal vehicles.

As contingent faculty members, we fully recognize the value of increasing the ease of transportation for the most marginalized members of society, and we call on Duke’s leadership to sign the Cooperation Agreement so that this project can move forward. This Cooperation Agreement is not a full-throated endorsement of the final plan, but a commitment to being involved in the project as it proceeds. Duke’s contributions to Durham’s economic and social growth are unquestioned if not uncomplicated, and the city and county have continued to provide an atmosphere in which both the University and our larger community thrive and prosper. The members of the Duke Faculty Union stand with the Durham City Council and the greater Triangle community and urge the leadership of our University to join with other local civil and academic leaders to collaborate in the great work of moving the Triangle forward.

Approved by the Executive Board and general membership of Duke Faculty Union

February 27, 2019