Vermont (Burlington to Charlotte Corridor)

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Burlington to Charlotte Corridor

Burlington, Vermont

(November 1996)


The Vermont Agency on Transportation (VAOT) is considering transportation improvements in the 12-mile corridor between Burlington and Charlotte. Options being considered include: do nothing, widening Shelburne Road (U.S. 7) to 4 lanes with the addition of a turning lane for 3.7 miles between Shelburne and South Burlington, hourly commuter rail service on the Vermont Railway right-of-way, express bus service serving the same stations/park and ride locations, and an enhanced bus option.

The commuter rail improvements in this corridor will require upgrades to the Vermont Railway, including track, signal, at grade crossing and drainage improvements. The terminus in Charlotte will be located near Ferry Road. In Burlington, the terminus would be the newly developed Main Street Landing/Union Station site. The project will include the construction of three stations, in addition to Union Station, with park-and-ride lots and integrated feeder bus service. The original VAOT cost estimate for the commuter rail alternative of $7.7 million (1995 dollars) has been revised upward to $8.7 million to incorporate a 3.8 mile quiet zone required by the Environmental Assessment.


A Major Investment Study (MIS) has been completed. The preferred alternative is a combination of highway improvements, passenger rail and enhanced bus service. The study includes a financing plan which identifies a capital local match and funding for ongoing passenger operations. The MIS identifies the total cost per passenger for the commuter rail component as $7.77 relative to the TSM option. An Environmental Assessment has been completed for the rail improvements and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued in September 1996.

Discretionary funds have been allocated in the amount of $5.58 million in FY 1996 and $1 million in FY 1997 for rail improvements in this corridor. The State of Vermont has committed the local match and STP transfer funds to make up the balance for the $8.8 million project.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
Federal: Section 5309 New Start FY 1996 $5.58 ($1.86 million appropriated through FY 1996)
Federal: Section 5309 New Start FY 1997 $1.00 ($6.58 million appropriated through FY 1997)
Federal: Flexible Funds $0.70
State: $1.50
Local: $0.00
Total: $8.78

Note: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.