CATS just launched their new $1.5 million study to determine how and where a possible new light rail line out to the Charlotte Douglas Airport might be built.
Their 2030 transit plan includes an extension of the current CityLYNX Gold Line street car out to the airport, but with the rapid expansion of Charlotte’s population, CATS leaders now want to determine if a faster light rail line is a better option.
The new $1.5 million study will use an outside consulting firm to answer the following 4 questions:
#1 Should the west corridor line be a streetcar (like the Gold Line) or a light rail (like the Blue Line)?
#2 Should the new line be built on Wilkinson Boulevard or West Boulevard?
#3 Where will it access the airport?
#4 Will it connect to Charlotte’s new 1,300 acre ‘River District’?
This new airport line, as well as Lake Norman’s ‘Red Line’, and Independence Blvd’s ‘Silver Line’ (none of which have been approved) would likely cost over $2 billion, requiring some heavy federal and state cooperation through substantial grants and/or loans.
CATS officials are now hoping that the new Trump administration will look favorably on more rail lines across the country, given that Trump has already promised over $1 trillion to be allocated for infrastructure over the next 10 years. We may have an even greater chance of receiving federal funds if Trump selects our former Mayor, Pat McCrory, to a cabinet position.
What do you think about a new rail line to the airport?
Do you think it should be a street car or light rail?
Should it travel down Wilkinson or West Blvd.?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!