December 12, 2011
The future of mass transit in the Charlotte region reached another milestone this month. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) received its Record of Decision from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the LYNX Blue Line Extension light rail project. FTA has determined that the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) have been met for this project.
“The Record of Decision is a major milestone for Charlotte. FTA has recognized CATS’ commitment to bringing quality mass transit to this area. We are very excited to move forward with constructing the light rail extension in the Northeast Corridor so residents will have more choices for their commute,” said Carolyn Flowers, CATS’ Chief Executive Officer.
The Record of Decision clears the way for CATS to move forward with the final design of the project. The next major step is attaining a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from FTA, which means the federal government would fund half of the cost needed to build the Blue Line Extension. State and local funds would make up the remaining half.
Final Design is the last phase of project development. It includes right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, preparation of final construction plans, construction cost estimates, bid documents and finalizing the project’s financial plan.
The Blue Line Extension is an extension of the successful LYNX Blue Line light rail service. The 9.4-mile alignment would run from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus and include 11 light rail stations and four parking facilities. The system will operate generally within the existing railroad right of way from Uptown to NoDa, then transition into the median of North Tryon Street from Old Concord Road north, with the last station on the UNC Charlotte campus. All stations will be serviced by the CATS’ network of feeder buses.
LYNX Blue Line Extension Project Director Danny Rogers said, “CATS has spent a considerable amount of time receiving input from residents, business owners and developers along this corridor. We have worked together as a team to make the light rail extension a reality. The excitement this project has generated is incredible.”
Construction of the LYNX Blue Line Extension is scheduled to begin in fall 2013. The line is projected to be operational by 2017. To learn more about CATS and transit planning, please call 704-336-7433 or visit us on the web at www.ridetransit.org.
Contact: Judy Dellert-O’Keef 704-432-0477