Charlotte, NC — Streetcar Grant Formally Awarded
Rail Transit Online – September 2011
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appeared in Charlotte on Sept. 19 to hand over a $25 million Federal Transit Administration grant for construction of a 1.5-mi. (2.4 km) streetcar starter line.
The money, part of the Obama administration's economic stimulus program, was announced more than a year ago but is
only now ready to be spent. The Charlotte city council agreed to accept the award by a one-vote margin, with all five "no" votes coming from Republican members.
So far, the source of an estimated $1.5 million in annual operating costs has not been identified. However, the city does have its $12 million capital share of the $37-million
project, which supporters believe will spur economic development. The initial segment will connect a sports arena with Presbyterian Hospital; the ultimate goal is a 10-mi. (16.1 km) line from Interstate 85 and Beatties Ford Road to Eastland Mall.