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<< Rail News Home: Federal Legislation & Regulation

12/14/2011    Project Update

Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

CATS' light-rail line lands federal funds, nets favorable FTA decision

On Monday, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) received a record of decision from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that determined the LYNX Blue Line extension has met the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.

The decision is a “milestone” for CATS and the project, which involves the construction of a 9.4-mile alignment that would run from uptown Charlotte, N.C., to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus, and include 11 stations and four parking facilities, CATS officials said in a prepared statement.

“We are very excited to move forward with constructing the light-rail extension in the Northeast Corridor so residents will have more choices for their commute,” said CATS Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Flowers.

The FTA decision clears the way for CATS to begin final design on the extension, which is scheduled to start in fall 2013. The next major step will be to attain a full funding grant agreement from the FTA, which means the federal government would fund half of the cost needed to build the extension, CATS officials said. State and local funds would cover the remaining costs.

Also on Monday, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) announced that CATS will receive an $18 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery III (TIGER III) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Blue Line project.

“This project will provide a valuable boost to Charlotte’s infrastructure, helping to alleviate transportation concerns during special events and peak commuting hours,” Hagan said in a press release. “It also will drive economic development in the region.”



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