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Heritage Trolley Site
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Charlotte - December 2006

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Charlotte, NC — Long Range Plan Approved

Rail Transit Online – December 2006

The Metropolitan Transit Commission on Nov. 15 voted to approve the regional 2030 Corridor System Plan and prioritized construction of proposed rail transit lines, all of which are dependant on receipt of funding.  The next LRT project on the schedule is the 11-mi. (17.7 km) Northeast Corridor from 7th Street in Center City to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, terminating just south of Interstate 485.  It would be a 14-station, $740.5-million extension of the south line that’s now under construction.  Charlotte Area Transit System is proposing to begin design in 2007, start construction in 2011 and inaugurate revenue service as early as 2013.  Also starting design in 2007 would be the initial $261-million phase of the 25.2-mi. (40.6 km) North Corridor, a commuter rail route along the existing Norfolk Southern O-Line from the proposed Charlotte Gateway Station in Center City to Mooreville.  Trains would also serve towns in northern Mecklenburg County, initially in one direction during peak periods only beginning by 2012.  In 2015, design would start on an expansion of the North Corridor, costing $111.9 million that would allow simultaneous service in both directions.  The North Corridor’s relatively low projected ridership — about 4,000 daily by 2030 — is expected to make it ineligible for federal grants.  CATS staff, in conjunction with local authorities, will develop a comprehensive funding plan using a variety of sources and report back to the MTC by July 1, 2007.  Further into the future, design on the first of three phases of the Southeast Corridor from Charlotte's Center City to the border of Mecklenburg and Union Counties would start in 2016.

Also on the rail transit agenda is a $210.6-million streetcar project, although design of the first segment would not begin before 2013.  Revenue service is tentatively set for 2018 followed by completion of phase 2 in 2023.  According to a statement released by CATS, “Staff will continue to research funding options to see if the streetcar can be brought on-line sooner than currently planned.”  The 34-station route would start at the Rosa Parks Place Community Transit Center, run along Beatties Ford Road to Uptown and continue to the Eastland Community Transit Center along Central Avenue, serving numerous traffic generators.  The streetcar could ultimately be extended to the airport.  CATS said for now it will focus on completing environmental studies for all corridors “…to advance the planning process into design.”   


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