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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FTA office honors CATS' Blue Line for spurring development


The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) recently received the first-ever Preeminent Southeast Transit Achievements and Recognition Award from the Federal Transit Administration’s Region IV Office. The award recognizes “outstanding innovation and development of best practices in public transportation,” according to CATS.

The agency received the award for its LYNX Blue Line, which “proactively promoted sustainable development and strategic infrastructure investment to reduce sprawl,” CATS said.

As part of FTA’s criteria, projects must have significant, measurable results with demonstrated benefits. Since opening in November 2006, the Blue Line has carried an average of 13,000 riders daily, far exceeding the original first-year ridership forecast of 9,100. The light-rail line and related infrastructure also have stimulated the local economy; private development along the corridor has topped $1.86 billion, CATS said. And, property values along the line have grown 52 percent since 2000. The county-wide average during the same time period is 40 percent.