Good news for those of us who understand that constructing a passenger light rail line in the Triangle is poor public policy. Rail is simply the wrong transportation policy for an urban-suburban community like ours. This Herald-Sun editorial laments comments from Durham Mayor Bill Bell about the prospects for rail, which would require a huge state subsidy, now that Republicans are in charge of the General Assembly and the governor’s office.

N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger was, in Bell’s telling, especially cool to the idea of any state subsidy for mass transit projects such as light-rail system that Triangle officials, especially in Chapel Hill and Durham, favor as a long-term transportation solution.

The Herald-Sun’s Ray Gronberg, summarizing Bell’s account of his meetings, reported “Berger’s view…implies that if local officials want state money they’d be better off tearing up the transit plan and figuring out where to expand existing roads.”

The editorial goes on to say that rail supporters had been hoping to get support from Gov. Pat McCrory, but that could prove problematic.

But McCrory indicated the project would have to pass congestion-reducing tests that would be fairly stringent. 

So what should we do? For starters, expand bus routes so they are plentiful and flexible. Second, build more roads, including toll roads. Here are a few other thoughts.