December 20, 2011
The city of Charlotte has received an $18 million federal grant to help improve the Lynx Blue Light Rail line.
Peter Rogoff, the top executive at the Federal Transit Administration, brought the check to Charlotte and presented it to Mayor Anthony Foxx and local transit chief Carolyn Flowers at Seventh Street Station uptown. The money is from a grant awarded to the city last week to expand capacity along the 10-mile light-rail line from Pineville to uptown.
“This project came out on top,” said Rogoff. “In part because we are accommodating growth we already know is here. The Lynx project is already reaching ridership levels close to what was expected in 2030 and…we’re not yet in 2012.”
The Lynx Blue Line opened in 2007 and cost $463 million. Federal money paid half the cost, with the local transit tax and state funds contributing 25 percent each. Daily ridership is 15,000, well above the 9,100 riders projected when service started.
The $18 million will help pay for express trains, three car trains, and extended platforms to handle the new cars.
Construction on the blue line upgrades will start in 2013 and is expected to be finished in 2015.