The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Integrated Mobility Division is leading a transit-oriented development planning initiative for seven communities (Apex, Franklinton, Henderson, Norlina, Raleigh, Sanford, Wake Forest and Youngsville) on a 95-mile-long section of the S-Line rail corridor.
This segment of the S-Line is a missing link within the larger vision for passenger rail service in the southeast. To better prepare communities in the area for potential future rail service, this study is evaluating potential transit-oriented development opportunities in those seven communities.
What is the S-Line?
The S-Line is a freight rail line owned by CSX that connects Richmond, Va. to Tampa, Fla, and is the former Seaboard Air mainline. North Carolina and Virginia are purchasing the right of way for the S-line between Petersburg, Va. and Raleigh to grow freight and passenger rail service.
Additionally, the Southeast Corridor Commission and the N.C. Department of Transportation are evaluating the S-Line corridor for high performance passenger rail service as part of the route to connect Washington, D.C. to Charlotte and Atlanta, Ga.
What is Transit-Oriented Development?
Transit-oriented development means creating places designed to bring people, activities, buildings and public space together with easy walking and cycling connections between them and excellent transit service. This type of development helps make communities more accessible without needing a personal vehicle. This is done by building mix-use neighborhoods (businesses, retail and residential grouped together) that are more walkable, pedestrian- and transit-friendly.
What Will the Study Do?
The S-Line Transit-Oriented Development Study will begin a community conversation about passenger rail across the corridor and evaluate market conditions, affordable housing options, multi-modal transportation opportunities and local plans, policies, and development regulations (i.e. zoning) in the various communities. The study will deliver a vision for future transit-oriented development that is responsive to each community’s individual needs.
The project team is working with each community’s leaders to connect with key stakeholders and residents via surveys, focus groups and workshops throughout the life of the study.
The S-Line Transit-Oriented Development Study kicked off in Summer 2021 and will finish in Fall 2022. Key reports include the Transit-Oriented Development Readiness Report, Market Study, Vision Summary and Implementation Plan.