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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Charlotte transit agency gets green light on 2030 system plan


Earlier this week, the Charlotte region’s Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) approved Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) 2030 Corridor System Plan and prioritized several projects. During the next two decades, CATS will construct four rapid transit corridors and launch streetcar service.

In 2013, the agency plans to open the $740.5 million Northeast Corridor, an extension of the LYNX light-rail line — currently under construction — from 7th Street in Center City to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus.

CATS also will construct a North Corridor commuter-rail line, which will run over existing Norfolk Southern Railway tracks to connect with a proposed Charlotte Gateway Station in Center City, then run to northern Mecklenburg and Mount Mourne. The project includes building 10 stations and realigning a portion of track in Huntersville to serve a proposed development. The $261 million first phase — between Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Charlotte — is expected to be complete in 2012. Scheduled to be complete in 2019, the $111.9 million second phase calls for increasing service levels. CATS will develop a funding plan for the project and present options to the MTC by July 1, 2007.

In addition, the agency plans to soon finalize draft environmental documents for a streetcar service that would operate in Charlotte between the Rosa Parks Place Community Transit Center, along Beatties Ford Road to Uptown and continue to Eastland Community Transit Center. The $210.6 million first phase is scheduled to be completely by 2018; the $209.8 million second phase would be complete by 2023.