The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) and state and local leaders “Staked their Claim” at a State Full Funding Grant Agreement ceremony for the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Extension Project, on Thursday, April 19.
City of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip L. Dubois, NC Governor’s Piedmont Regional Office Director Budd Berro, North Carolina Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Transit Paul Morris, CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President Bob Morgan and Mecklenburg County Commission and Metropolitan Transit Commission Chairmen Harold Cogdell took part in the celebration on the campus of UNC Charlotte at its Bioinformatics Building.
The State Full Funding Grant Agreement will provide 25 percent of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) from Center City Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus. “The continued support from our state leaders allows us to advance with the vision set forth for transit in the Charlotte region,” said Carolyn Flowers, CATS CEO.
“I am especially excited about the perseverance and resourceful approach CATS took to make the BLE a viable and attractive project, even with the drop in sales tax revenue we experienced over the last few years.”
The support also prepares the system to receive a full funding grant agreement of 50 percent of the project costs from the Federal Transit Administration later this year.
“The Blue Line Extension to the UNC Charlotte campus is another critical milestone in enhancing the University’s connectivity to Center City Charlotte,” Dubois said. “It will provide the community with greater access to the University’s many arts, cultural and athletic events, including 49ers football. The extension also will contribute tremendously to economic development by linking the state’s urban research University and two of the region’s largest centers of economic activity — Center City and University City.”
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. Construction of the $1.16 billion BLE Project is scheduled to begin fall 2013 with operational service expected in 2017.
To learn more about CATS and transit planning, please call 704-336-7433 or visit us on the web at www.ridetransit.org.