Charlotte, NC — Streetcar Grant Announced
Rail Transit Online – August 2010
By a one-vote margin, the Charlotte city council agreed to accept a $25-million federal grant for a 1.5-mi. (2.41 km) streetcar starter line. The city applied for the money to help finance the $37-million project, which would be the first increment of an eventual 10-mi. (16.1 km) route running from Interstate 85 and Beatties Ford Road to Eastland Mall.
Once the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that Charlotte was one of five communities to receive an Urban Circulator Grant, opponents claimed the city couldn't afford its $12-million share, even though the three cars needed for operation have already been purchased and some of the track installed.
Following more than three hours of intense discussion and testimony from residents, the council's six Democrats all voted to accept the cash while the five-member Republican
minority opposed the motion, citing the lack of operating funds. Officials said the money needed to run the line might have to come from the general fund.
Meanwhile, no sources have been identified to pay for construction of the remaining 8.5 mi. (13.7 km), which
will probably be added in three or four increments.