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Lynx Rapid Transit Services Info Locale Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina Transit type Rapid transit Number of lines 1 Number of stations 15 Daily ridership 14,300[1] Website CATS Rapid Transit Planning Operation Began operation November 24, 2007[2][3] Operator(s) Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Technical System length 9.6 mi (15.45 km) Track gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge) Electrification Overhead lines, 750 V DC System map Legend Charlotte Trolley to 9th Street 7th Street Charlotte Transportation Center/Arena 3rd Street Stonewall Interstate 277 Carson Bland East/West Charlotte Trolley to Atherton Mill New Bern South Boulevard Light Rail Facility Scaleybark Woodlawn Tyvola Archdale Arrowood Sharon Road West I-485/South Boulevard This route map: view · talk · edit Lynx Rapid Transit Services (styled corporately as LYNX Rapid Transit Services) comprises a 9.6-mile (15.45 km) light rail line serviced by the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It commenced service on November 24, 2007, and runs through Uptown and South End, before paralleling South Boulevard to its southern terminus just north of Interstate 485 at the Pineville city limits. There are 15 stations in the system, which carries an average of over 21,000 passenger trips every day.[1] The idea of light rail in Charlotte was initially proposed in the mid-1980s, with the Mecklenburg voters approving a one-half cent sales tax to finance its construction in 1998. The construction of Lynx has resulted in controversy regarding its costs and benefits culminating in an unsuccessful 2007 referendum to repeal the transit tax. Presently, future expansion includes plans for light rail, commuter rail, streetcars and bus rapid transit along the five corridors in the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan adopted in 2006 by Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC). Build-out of the entire system is presently estimated for completion by 2034. Contents 1 History 1.1 Corridor planning and construction 2 Ridership 3 Controversy 3.1 After opening 4 Rolling stock 5 Fares 6 Stations 7 Future expansion 7.1 Blue Line 7.2 Red Line 7.3 Silver Line 7.4 Center City Corridor 7.5 West Corridor 8 See also 9 References History By the mid-1980s, strategies by which to both control and focus the region's growing population and expanding development were being evaluated by city and county planners. One strategy discussed was the construction of light rail to encourage new businesses and housing along its corridor.[4] In 1984, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission made its first recommendation for a light rail line connecting Uptown Charlotte with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) as part of the community's 2005 Vision Plan.[5] In response to this recommendation, mayor Harvey Gantt sought $50,000 from the city council for a feasibility study only to drop the request due to a lack of council support.[6] After remaining dormant for nearly three years, the light rail debate once again emerged as a light rail/mass transit task force was established by then-mayor Sue Myrick in early 1988. The task force received $185,000 from a combination of local, state and federal funds for the initial study of a system consisting of three lines radiating out from Uptown Charlotte.[7] One line was to connect with the UNCC to the northeast; a second was to connect to Pineville, with future expansion envisioned to both Fort Mill and Rock Hill to the south; and a third was to connect with Matthews, with future expansion anticipated to Monroe to the southeast.[8] By September 1988, the results of the initial study carried out by Barton-Aschman Associates visualized a 77-mile (123.9 km) system encompassing a loop around Uptown Charlotte and eight separate corridors radiating out from the city center to cost $467 million.[7] The corridors envisioned included a route along Albemarle Road to the east, connecting with both SouthPark and Matthews to the southeast, Pineville to the south, the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport to the west, UNCC to the northeast, along Brookshire Boulevard to the northwest, and Davidson to the north. The cost of the plan was significantly more than the $101 million in bonds issued by city council which was to be used to initiate the project. The cost factor, combined with inability to obtain the necessary right-of-way for the lines, led to the project's deferral.[7] In March 1990, CATS allotted only $14 million for light rail development for the duration of the 1990s. Again, construction costs were cited in postponing development of the system. Additionally, the Charlotte proposal at the time did not anticipate sufficient ridership of the system to acquire Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant money to develop the system. The $14 million would be used for both the purchasing of abandoned right-of-way as it became available for future light rail development as well as monies for studying a proposed line connecting the Wilgrove area in east Mecklenburg County with Tyvola Road south of Uptown Charlotte.[9] After nearly fifteen years of debate, in 1998 Mecklenburg County voters approved a one-half cent sales tax to be utilized in the implementation of the 2025 Integrated Transit/Land-Use Plan, which include development of a light rail network.[10][11] Once the tax was approved, the ability for Charlotte to have matching funds for FTA grants became a reality to finance construction, and planning for the South Corridor to Pineville commenced.[12] Corridor planning and construction Car #112 at the Carson station Although light rail had been envisioned connecting Charlotte to Rock Hill in previous years, official planning for the corridor, later to become the Blue Line, did not commence until 1999. The line was to have initially been a 13.5-mile (21.73 km) route serving as a connection between Uptown Charlotte and Pineville along the Norfolk Southern rail line paralleling South Boulevard at a cost of $225 million.[13] In February 2000, the Metropolitan Transit Commission unanimously approved the corridor for the region's first light rail line, and by April, $8.2 million was allocated for the initial purchase of materials for its construction.[14] In September Parsons Transportation Group was hired by CATS to complete engineering and environmental studies for the corridor, and at this time costs estimates for the completed line increased to $331 million.[15] The overall costs for completing the line escalated to $371 million by July 2002 as a result of increasing land and construction costs. Additionally, the southern terminus for the line was moved from downtown Pineville approximately 1.5 miles (2.41 km) to the north. The station was eliminated after Mayor George Fowler, and the Pineville Town Council voted to not receive the line.[16] Also, low projected ridership figures indicated its construction was not warranted at the time.[17] By March 2004, estimates of costs had increased to $398.7 million and were again revised to $427 million in January 2005.[18] The increased estimates were again attributed to rising costs of land and construction. After numerous delays caused by increasing cost estimates, the official groundbreaking for the line occurred on February 26, 2005.[19] With construction in progress for a year, in February 2006 CATS unveiled "Lynx" as the official name of its light rail network.[20] Lynx was selected from a list of over 250 possibilities including City Lynx and Xcel, and was chosen so as to adhere to the big cat theme in the names of the local professional sports teams (the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Bobcats), and also since it was homophonous with "links" (suggesting connectivity).[20] By September 2006, estimated completion costs for the Blue Line once again were increased. This time the increase was attributed to faulty planning and design of the line from consultants hired by CATS to design the line, Parsons Transportation Group. Revised estimates by early 2007 called for the project to be completed at a final cost of $462.7 million, more than double the original estimate of $227 million.[21] Nearly three years after construction commenced, the Lynx Blue Line opened for passenger service on November 24, 2007.[3] On its opening weekend of November 24–25, 2007 all trips were free, resulting in 24,000 rider trips in the first four hours and 60,000 trips in the first day. This was well above maximum rated capacity for Lynx service.[3] Revenue service commenced with the first train on November 26, 2007.[3] Lynx is the first major rapid rail service of any kind in North Carolina, and serves as a revival of rail transit within the city since the original streetcar network was disbanded in 1938 in favor of motorized bus transit.[22][23] Ridership Prior to the opening of the line in November 2007, CATS projected ridership for the completed Blue Line to be 9,100 on an average weekday in its first year of operation, gradually increasing to 18,100 by 2025.[2] In its first few months of operation, the Blue Line saw an average daily weekday ridership of 8,700 passengers.[24] By the end of the first quarter of 2008, weekday ridership had increased to 18,600, double first-year projections and ahead of the 2025 projections.[25][26] In March 2008, the single light rail line accounted for 19.5% of total system ridership – 402,600 of the 2,061,700 monthly passenger-trips of all lines including bus, dial-a-ride, and vanpool.[26] Daily ridership continued to climb through the fall of 2008 due to increasing gasoline prices, peaking at 22,300 in the third quarter, only to see a drop to 21,700 by the end of 2008.[27][28][29] By summer 2009, a CATS survey indicated that 72 percent of Lynx riders did not use public transportation prior to its completion.[30] On December 11, 2009, Lynx celebrated its 10 millionth passenger trip since its opening in November 2007.[31] For 2009, Lynx saw a decrease in daily ridership from 19,700[32] to 19,500 passengers per day.[33] As of the second quarter of 2010, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has Lynx daily ridership at 21,600, making Lynx the 21st largest light rail system in the United States in terms of ridership.[1] Controversy Car #103 at the South Boulevard Light Rail Facility With construction under way, development of light rail and cost overruns associated with it became a major issue between incumbent Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory and Democratic opponent Craig Madans in the 2005 mayoral race.[34] In 2006, following a report by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the project was cited as inefficient use of federal taxpayer dollars, and opponents claimed most of the $8.9 billion slated for transit out of a total of $12.7 billion for all transportation projects in the Charlotte Region's Long Range Plan was attributed to rail.[35][36] In response to these concerns, a coalition labeling itself Stop the Train launched a petition drive to put a repeal of the 1998 transit tax on the November 2007 ballot, citing cost-overruns and concerns over CATS management.[36] Mecklenburg County elections officials announced in June 2007 the required number of signatures had been gathered and validated, guaranteeing a referendum on the transit tax.[37] According to David Hartgen, professor of Transportation Policy Studies at UNCC, transit would provide a viable means of transportation for just 2–3% of the Charlotte region's travel needs, and 1% of regional travel.[38][39] Road transportation advocate Wendell Cox also cited similar concerns of a low cost/benefit ratio of both the south corridor line and other urban rail projects proposed for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.[40] Additionally, Sam Staley, Director of Urban and Land Use Policy for the Reason Foundation, stated Lynx struggled to capture riders in a sprawling city like Charlotte, where the majority of trips are not made to the central city. More recent studies have thoroughly documented the congestion reductions produced by rail transit. [41] A further paradox came from building rail lines to areas before development takes place, as is done with superhighway construction. When ignoring the usable life of improvements the construction of roads is less costly than building light rail or subways, excluding land costs, but may contribute to increased sprawl.[42] A campaign to retain the tax garnered more than $650,000, with at least one third coming from local corporations including Duke Energy, Wachovia, Bank of America, McDonald Transit Associates, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Siemens. An additional twenty major businesses contributed, all of whom profit from CATS operations according to former city council member Don Reid. The group working to repeal the transit tax saw far less support (under $13,000) mostly from individuals.[43] Mecklenburg County voters overwhelmingly rejected the repeal of the tax, 70 percent to 30 percent, on November 6, 2007.[44][45] After opening In the months following opening, the line was averaging 80% over initial ridership projections, leading Light Rail Now to proclaim the line a "huge success".[46] Jim Puckett, former Mecklenburg County Commissioner and a leader of the campaign to repeal the transit tax, said in the Charlotte Observer: "I have to admit, they are doing better than I expected... Our concern was whether we would have a white elephant, and it doesn't seem we do."[29] In August 2008, the John Locke Foundation's Carolina Journal reported that taxpayers were subsidizing more than 90% of a rider's trip on what the Journal calls "a lightly used line," and that low ridership estimates did not take into account increasing gasoline costs resulting in higher transit ridership. The analysis of subsidies was flawed by the report's reliance on a 7% discount rate for capital expenditures on the project, since no money was borrowed for the project (at the local and state level) no interest is paid on its capital costs, thus the report overstated costs by a substantial margin. Criticisms of transit on the grounds of subsidies also overlook the fact that all other modes of transportation are subsidized by non-user fees. For example, the Pew Charitable Trust found that highway construction and maintenance requires a 49% subsidy in 2007. [47] UNCC transportation studies professor David Hartgen states that the line does not displace car traffic significantly as about half the ridership consists of prior bus riders. Also, Hartgen dismisses a city report's claims concerning increased land use as a result, stating: "In short, the big winners are about 4,000 prior bus riders, 4,000 commuters living close to the line, and 400 South Carolina drivers."[48] Hartgen's claims of limited benefits are contradicted by the March 2011 report from the Center for Transit Oriented Development which found that the Blue Line generated nearly 10 million square feet of new commercial and residential development along its route, more than comparable lines in Denver and Minneapolis. [49] Rolling stock Interior of Lynx car #110 Main article: Siemens S70 In January 2004, CATS began the process of accepting bids for construction of the system's vehicles. Original estimates for the vehicles was $3.5 million per car with the firms Bombardier, Siemens and Kinki Sharyo bidding for the final contract. The $52 million contract for 16 S70 Avanto vehicles was awarded to Siemens on February 25, 2004.[50] The original order was delivered between 2006–07, and these cars are numbered 101–116. Car 101 arrived via flatbed truck on Friday, June 23, 2006, from the Siemens facility in Florin, California.[51] Testing of the vehicles began in August 2006 along a 1.3-mile (2.1 km) stretch of track between Tremont Avenue and the light rail maintenance facility off South Boulevard. During the testing phase, each car logged 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to test the acceleration, braking and overall performance for each vehicle.[51] With an option in place to purchase up to an additional 25 vehicles, and better than expected ridership, in May 2008 CATS announced the purchase of four additional Avanto vehicles to add capacity to the existing 16 vehicles in operation.[52] The trams cost $3.8 million each and were delivered by Siemens between January–March 2010.[52] Lynx's fleet initially consisted of sixteen, 91.3-foot (27.828 m), 97,470-pound (44,211.6 kg) Siemens-built S70 Avanto vehicles, similar to those currently in operation for the METRORail in Houston, Texas.[53] Each vehicle contains 68 seats and has a maximum capacity of 236 passengers complete with four bike racks. Each car has a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), but top speed is restricted to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). Power comes from a 750-volt overhead wire.[53] In addition to the modern light rail vehicles, two vintage trolleys operate along the route between the 7th Street and East/West stations as the Charlotte Trolley. Since it operated along the same tracks, trolley service was temporarily halted on February 5, 2006, when construction began on the Lynx system.[54] Scheduled to reopen in late 2006, in November 2006 CATS determined it would be unfeasible to have trolley service while the corridor still under construction.[55] Thus trolley service resumed on April 20, 2008, and the heritage streetcars operate on weekends only in tandem with the modern light rail vehicles.[56] When not in use, the vehicles are stored at the South Boulevard Light Rail Facility, located along South Boulevard, between the New Bern and Scaleybark stations in the Sedgefield neighborhood. The facility is approximately 92,000 square feet (8,547.1 m2), and houses the Lynx rail maintenance staff, operations staff and the Rail Operations Control Center. Officially dedicated on June 23, 2007, the facility contains 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of track and 5,200 ties.[57] Fares Typical Lynx ticket machine Tickets are purchased on the platform of all stations from self-serve ticket vending machines that accept cash, coins, debit, and credit cards.[58] Transfers from buses, weekly and monthly passes are also accepted. Fares, which are equal to those of the existing bus network, are $1.75 for a one-way trip, $3.50 for a round-trip ticket, $5.25 for a one-day pass with unlimited rides, $17 for a weekly pass, and $70 for a monthly pass.[58][59] Lynx's fare system is organized on the proof-of-payment system as there are no turnstiles at the entrances to train platforms.[58][60] Instead, fares are enforced by random sweeps through trains and occasional checks for fares as passengers enter and leave the train by CATS Fare Inspectors.[58][60] If a passenger is caught without evidence of proper fare, a citation of $50 is issued in addition to potentially facing a Class 3 misdemeanor charge.[58] CATS estimates between 4 and 5 percent of total fare revenue is lost from passengers who ride without paying.[61] Following an initial "grace period" between its November 2007 opening and February 2008, CATS took more action with regards to issuing citations for fare jumpers. This was the case as many of the ticket vending machines were not working properly at all stations.[62] As part of Lynx's initial "fare enforcement blitz" during the first week of February 2008, 41 citations were issued with one arrest in the first day of enhanced enforcement.[62] Due to its success, CATS officials announced that future "blitzes" would target individual stations and not be publicized.[62] As of June 2010, CATS estimates 0.5 percent of daily riders are fare jumpers at a daily loss of $300 in revenue.[63] Stations Main articles: List of LYNX Stations and List of LYNX public art artists The 9.6-mile (15.45 km) Blue Line provides service to fifteen stations located within the Charlotte city limits.[64] The stations are all open-air structures featuring passenger canopies for protection from adverse weather conditions.[65] Although originally to have been 300 feet (91 m) long, all platforms were reduced to 200 feet (61 m) in length in order to save $6 million in construction costs.[66] The overall design of the stations takes their inspiration from the many oak trees present throughout the city, and are either side or island platformed.[67] All stations between I-485/South Boulevard and Scaleybark have parking available adjacent to the station, with the I-485/South Boulevard station having the line's lone parking garage.[64][68] Additionally, as part of the budget for the Lynx system, a percentage of the overall cost was reserved for both the purchase and display of public art along the route. Through the utilization of approximately one percent of the overall design and construction budget, 13 artists were selected to design displays for each of the Blue Line's fifteen stations.[69] Future expansion Boarding a southbound train at the Stonewall Station At present, the only completed portion of the Lynx network is the Blue Line. Future expansion includes plans for light rail, commuter rail, streetcars and bus rapid transit along the five corridors in the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan adopted in 2006 by Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC).[70] Build-out of the entire system is presently estimated for completion by 2034.[71] Blue Line Main article: Blue Line Extension/Northeast Corridor (LYNX) A 9.4-mile (15.1 km) extension of the present 9.6-mile (15.4 km) segment is presently in the planning stages. Referred to as the "Northeast Corridor", upon completion it would add an additional 11 stations between Uptown and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.[71] UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phillip Dubois, has mentioned in the past the name of this segment could be changed to the Green Line in reference to UNC Charlotte's team color.[72] In July 2010, CATS announced that funding is being sought to extend the existing line to 9th Street to serve the UNC Charlotte Uptown Campus.[73] Originally, completion of the extension was estimated to cost $1.12 billion, including an additional 1.2-mile (1.9 km) of track and 2 stations north of UNC Charlotte, ending at I-485 just south of Cabarrus County. However, due to the effects of the late 2000s – early 2010s recession, CATS voted to shorten the line and reduce the cost to $977 million, in order to preserve the 2016 opening date. The revised Blue Line Extension (not including the current Blue Line to the south) would carry an estimated 24,500 weekday boardings by 2035 and serve 4 park and ride stations.[74] Red Line Main article: LYNX Red Line The Red Line is a proposed 25-mile (40 km) commuter rail line to be constructed along existing Norfolk Southern tracks and provide service to the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson in northern Mecklenburg County. The line will be serviced by Diesel Multiple Unit trains, and the southern terminus will be the proposed Gateway Station in Uptown Charlotte.[71] Presently, completion of the line will cost an estimated $456 million [75]; however, there is currently no clear funding source for the completion of this line. CATS is currently investigating a public–private partnership with NCDOT and Norfolk Southern Railway to secure the estimated $225 million shortfall needed to start construction. [76] Silver Line Main article: LYNX Silver Line The Silver Line is a proposed 13.5-mile (21.7 km) rapid transit corridor to be operated as either bus rapid transit (BRT) or light rail between the CPCC Levine Campus in Matthews and the proposed Gateway Station in Uptown Charlotte. Proposals call for it to be complete through Idlewild Road by 2022, Sardis Road North by 2024 and finally to CPCC Levine by 2026.[71] As currently aligned, the completed line will have 16 stations and be completed at an estimated cost of $582 million.[71] In September 2006, the MTC voted to delay on determining whether BRT or light rail should be built along the corridor until 2011.[77] Center City Corridor Main article: Center City Corridor (LYNX) The Center City Corridor is a proposed 9.9-mile (15.9 km) streetcar line, connecting the University Park area of west Charlotte with Eastland Mall in east Charlotte by way of Uptown Charlotte, in a primarily east-west direction. Proposals call for its completion by 2018.[71] However, in May 2008 the Charlotte City Council approved $500,000 to study the corridor in terms of an updated cost estimate, economic benefits and the eligibility of the corridor for federal funding in an effort to potentially expedite its construction.[78] In July 2010, a $25 million Federal Urban Circulator Grant was awarded[79] to the city, allowing construction of the initial 1.5-mile starter segment between the Charlotte Transportation Center in Uptown Charlotte and Presbyterian Hospital on Elizabeth Avenue, serving the Elizabeth Avenue Business Corridor and Central Piedmont Community College. Current plans call for the starter segment to open by 2015. [80] West Corridor Main article: West Corridor (LYNX) The West Corridor is a proposed 6.4-mile (10.3 km) streetcar line, connecting Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in west Charlotte with Uptown Charlotte. Proposals call for completion by 2034.[71] With a completion date over two decades away, in 2008 CATS announced enhanced bus service along this corridor to serve as a placeholder until the line can be constructed.[81] Called Sprinter, the service began in September 2009 and features fewer stops and timing similar to that of the future streetcar route.[82] See also Light rail in North America References ^ a b c American Public Transportation Association, Public Transit Ridership Report, First Quarter, 2011. ^ a b Harrison, Steve (November 24, 2007). "A momentous arrival: After opening-day hoopla, what's ahead for Lynx?". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ a b c d Harrison, Steve; Kristen Valle (November 25, 2007). "Light rail, heavy traffic – Thousands wait in lines for a free ride on 1st day". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Israel, Mae (July 9, 1985). "Planners propose strategies for shifting Charlotte-Mecklenburg growth balance". The Charlotte Observer: p. 8A.  ^ Israel, Mae (August 8, 1985). "County rail system ahead?". The Charlotte Observer: p. Metro 1.  ^ Rhee, Foon (January 19, 1988). "Is a light rail system in Charlotte's future?". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ a b c Rhee, Foon (December 3, 1988). "Light rail has heavy price tag, transit system cost put at $467 million". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Mellnik, Ted (July 14, 1988). "Charlotte to push rail idea: Uptown-Matthews may be first route". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Braun, John (March 14, 1990). "Transit officials see mostly buses, carpools ahead: Their $83 million capital projects list includes just $14 million for light rail development". The Charlotte Observer: p. 2.  ^ "Rapid Transit Planning". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on January 11, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2007.  ^ Griffin, Anna; Dianne Whitacre (November 4, 1998). "Voters O.K. transit tax, bond issue". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (January 28, 1999). "Light rail work may begin in 2001". The Charlotte Observer: p. 3C.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (January 25, 1999). "Meeting to help decide when, where trains will be comin' down track". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1C.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (April 27, 2000). "$8.2 million will get the ball rolling on light rail". The Charlotte Observer: p. 2B.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (September 21, 2000). "Contract awarded for light rail engineering". The Charlotte Observer: p. 4B.  ^ Lowrey, Michael (June 11, 2004). "Charlotte, Triangle Transit Delayed". Carolina Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2010.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (July 25, 2002). "Cost of light rail to the south up 11%". The Charlotte Observer: p. 3B.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (January 11, 2005). "Light rail: Higher prices, later arrival". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (February 27, 2005). "Celebration marks start of work on light rail line". The Charlotte Observer: p. 2B.  ^ a b Staff Reporters (February 23, 2006). "Light rail name keeps the CATS theme going". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ LaCour, Greg (October 2, 2006). "Light rail tab unveiled". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ "LYNX Blue Line South Corridor Light Rail Project Description". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on November 29, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2007.  ^ Rhee, Foon (January 19, 1988). "Is a light rail system in Charlotte's future?". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Gaffney, John (Fourth Quarter 2007). "Light Rail Public Transportation Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved 2008-04-02.  ^ Gaffney, John (First Quarter 2008). "Light Rail Public Transportation Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved January 22, 2010.  ^ a b Harrison, Steve (May 29, 2008). "Light rail line rolls along – More riders, continued development and few glitches mark Lynx's first 6 months". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Dawson, Christie (Third Quarter 2008). "Light Rail Public Transportation Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved January 22, 2010.  ^ Dawson, Christie (Third Quarter 2008). "Light Rail Public Transportation Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved January 22, 2010.  ^ a b Harrison, Steve (December 31, 2008). "Ridership on Lynx dipped in November – Drop follows plunge in gas prices". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Harrison, Steve (December 31, 2008). "Most on Lynx new to transit". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Muth, John M. (December 2009). "LYNX celebrates 10 millionth rider". In Transit: Charlotte Area Transit System Employee Newsletter. Retrieved October 4, 2010.  ^ Dawson, Christie (First Quarter 2009). "Light Rail Public Transportation Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved July 24, 2010.  ^ Dickens, Matthew (Fourth Quarter 2009). "Light Rail Public Transportation Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved July 24, 2010.  ^ Rubin, Richard (October 13, 2005). "Madans takes 3rd bid to shops and churches – Charlotte mayoral candidate has firm 'no' for light rail and arena". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Staff Reporters (June 15, 2006). "Conservative group criticizes light-rail funding". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved February 23, 2007.  ^ a b Spanberg, Erik (February 28, 2007). "City is preparing for a battle over transit tax". Charlotte Business Journal.  ^ Harrison, Steve (June 1, 2007). "Signatures clear the way for revote on transit tax – Anti-light rail group reaches petition goal". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (May 16, 2007). "2030 Long-Range Transportation Plan Amendment" (PDF).  ^ CATS Metropolitan Transit Commission (October 26, 2006). "2030 Transit Corridor System Plan: Implementation Scenarios and Preliminary Financial Results" (PDF).  ^ Cox, Wendell. "Breach of Faith: Light Rail and Smart Growth in Charlotte".  ^ Litman, Todd. "Smart Congestion Reductions II".  ^ Harrison, Steve (September 20, 2007). "Development along rail a focus of transit tax debate". The Charlotte Observer: p. 3B.  ^ Harrison, Steve (October 30, 2007). "Transit tax is popular with big business". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Mecklenburg County Board of Elections (November 6, 2007). "Mecklenburg County, NC 11/06/2007 General Election – Repeal of the 1/2% Transportation Tax".  ^ Harrison, Steve (November 7, 2007). "Tax supporters, foes surprised by margin of victory – Light rail, buses score overwhelming endorsement". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ "Charlotte's New Lynx Light Rail:Ridership, Development, and Energy Benefits = Huge Success". Light Rail Now Project. Retrieved May 26, 2009.  ^ "Analysis Finds Shifting Trends in Highway Funding: User Fees Make Up Decreasing Share". Subsidyscope: Pew Charitable Trust. Retrieved July 16, 2011.  ^ "Taxpayers Pay Price For Lightly Used Charlotte Light-Rail Line". John Locke Foundation. Retrieved May 26, 2009.  ^ "Rails to Real Estate Final Report". Center for Transit Oriented Development. Retrieved July 16, 2011.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (February 26, 2004). "Planners OK buying 16 trains for $53 million". The Charlotte Observer: p. 4B.  ^ a b Rubin, Richard (June 24, 2006). "1st Lynx car arrives, but 1000 miles of tests await". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ a b Leier, Jean (January 20, 2010). "Light rail vehicle makes a stop in Atlanta". Charlotte Area Transit System. Retrieved October 4, 2010.  ^ a b "Light Rail Vehicles". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2007.  ^ Coto, DaNica (February 6, 2006). "History on Hiatus: Trolley makes last run for a year". The Charlotte Observer: p. 3B.  ^ Rubin, Richard (November 15, 2006). "Trolley running late on restart". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Harrison, Steve (April 17, 2008). "Trolley joining Lynx on light-rail tracks". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Charlotte Area Transit System (June 19, 2007). "Join CATS for the grand opening of the South Boulevard Light Rail Facility".  ^ a b c d e Charlotte Area Transit System (October 4, 2010). "LYNX Fares".  ^ Charlotte Area Transit System (October 4, 2010). "Passes & Fares".  ^ a b Whitacre, Dianne (September 29, 2005). "Light rail to use honor system". The Charlotte Observer: p. 5B.  ^ Harrison, Steve (November 19, 2007). "Want to ride? Please help yourself". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ a b c Harrison, Steve (February 6, 2008). "Lynx blitz catches 41 without tickets". The Charlotte Observer: p. 2B.  ^ Berky, Rad (June 21, 2010). "CATS plans to target light rail riders who don't pay". The Charlotte Observer.  ^ a b "LYNX Blue Line". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved January 20, 2010.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (February 17, 2001). "Initial signs of city's light rail future just ahead". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (March 24, 2004). "Light rail: Add $28 million". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (September 16, 2001). "Cast a vote now for your favorite shelter". The Charlotte Observer: p. 7B.  ^ Whitacre, Dianne (July 31, 2002). "Novel idea carries day for light-rail line – Parking deck can go under school land with playing field on top". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ "LYNX Blue Line public art". Charlotte Area Transit System. Retrieved October 4, 2010.  ^ "2030 Transit Corridor System Plan". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008.  ^ a b c d e f g "Destination 2030". Charlotte Area Transit System. Retrieved June 25, 2007.  ^ Staff Reporters (December 18, 2008). "The insider, UNCC wants to know: Why not call LYNX extension the Green Line?". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1D.  ^ Harrison, Steve (July 22, 2010). "City wants federal grant for shorter Lynx extension". The Charlotte Observer.  ^ "Blue Line Extension Fact Sheet".  ^ "2030 Corridor System Plan Presentation, November 2010".  ^ "Red Line Task Force Meeting Summary, March 23, 2011".  ^ Rubin, Richard (September 28, 2006). "Rail? Bus? Neither for now". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1A.  ^ Tierney, Dan (June 1, 2008). "City OKs further study of streetcars, their costs". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1M.  ^ "Charlotte Awarded Urban Circulator Grant".  ^ {{cite web title = Charlotte streetcar a year behind schedule url =}} ^ Sullivan, Karen (May 25, 2008). "Bus to airport may improve". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  ^ Harrison, Steve (September 14, 2009). "Will Uptown workers fly out via Sprinter?". The Charlotte Observer: p. 1B.  v · d · eLynx Rapid Transit Services of Charlotte, North Carolina Current Line Blue Line Future Lines Blue Line Extension • Red Line • Silver Line • Center City Corridor • West Corridor Stations 3rd Street • 7th Street • Archdale • Arrowood • Bland Street • Carson • CTC/Arena • East/West Boulevard • I-485/South Boulevard • New Bern • Scaleybark • Sharon Road West • Stonewall • Tyvola • Woodlawn Other Charlotte Area Transit System • Charlotte Trolley • Gateway Station • LYNX public art v · d · eCurrently operating light rail and streetcar systems in the United States Arkansas River Rail Streetcar Arizona Metro Light Rail · Old Pueblo Trolley California MUNI: Cable Car, F Market & Wharves, and Metro lines · Metro Rail: Blue Line, Green Line and Gold Line · Sacramento RT · San Diego Trolley · Sprinter · Santa Clara VTA · Waterfront Red Car Colorado Fort Collins Municipal Railway · Platte Valley Trolley · RTD Light Rail Florida TECO Line Streetcar System Georgia River Street Streetcar Louisiana New Orleans Streetcars Massachusetts Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line · MBTA Green Line Maryland Baltimore Light Rail Minnesota Como-Harriet Streetcar Line · Hiawatha Line Missouri /  Illinois MetroLink New Jersey Hudson–Bergen Light Rail · Newark Light Rail · River Line New York Buffalo Metro Rail North Carolina Lynx Rapid Transit Services · Charlotte Trolley Ohio RTA Blue and Green Lines Oregon MAX Light Rail · Portland Streetcar · Portland Vintage Trolley · Willamette Shore Trolley Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Light Rail · SEPTA Routes 15, 101, 102, and Subway–Surface Lines Tennessee Memphis MATA Trolley Texas DART Light Rail · Houston MetroRail · M-Line (McKinney Ave.) Utah UTA TRAX Washington Link Light Rail · Seattle Streetcar Network Wisconsin Kenosha Transit v · d · eCity of Charlotte, North Carolina Main Charlotteans · Mecklenburg County · Metrolina · North Carolina · Piedmont Government Mayor Anthony Foxx · Mayors of Charlotte · Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools · Public Library System ·Charlotte Fire · CMPD History Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence · Queen Charlotte · Charlottetown Resolutions Neighborhoods Ballantyne · Chantilly · Cotswold · Derita · Dilworth · Eastland · Elizabeth · Myers Park · NoDa · North Charlotte · Plaza-Midwood · Quail Hollow · Sedgefield · Sherwood Forest · SouthPark · Starmount · Steele Creek Municipal Service Districts:  South End · University City · Uptown (Charlotte center city) Sports teams Carolina Panthers-NFL · Charlotte Bobcats-NBA · Charlotte Checkers-AHL · Charlotte Eagles-USL-2 · Charlotte Knights-IL · Charlotte RFC-RSL · Charlotte 49ers-NCAA Division I Newspapers Charlotte Observer · Charlotte Post · Creative Loafing · Mecklenburg Times · Q-Notes · Charlotte Weekly Television stations 3 WBTV-CBS · 9 WSOC-ABC · 14 WHKY-Ind. 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