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North Corridor Rail Demonstration Project Proposed

Final Pineville Light Rail Alignment Expected Soon
The Metropolitan Transit Commission is expected to choose a final alignment for the Charlotte-Pineville light rail line in the Spring. Three alignments are being considered in the immediate Pineville area. About 70 percent of the line north into Charlotte will follow the Norfolk Southern and former Southern Railway "OLD R Line" rights of way. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) plans to build the $331 million line in 2003, with service beginning in 2005. Meanwhile, CATS will apply for federal funds in February for half of cost of buying land and preparing the final design for the line.

A decision is expected by April on fast tracking a regional rail transit line between Davidson and Charlotte on the Norfolk Southern rail line. If approved service would begin in 2003 when a major reconstruction of I-77 is underway in Northern Mecklenburg County.

Service would run between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. Major Investment Studies (MIS's) are continuing on four transit corridors in Charlotte. Alignments and modal selections (light rail, regional rail, busway) are expected by this Fall.

After being subjected to the "Rail is No Good" rhetoric of roads proponent Wendell Cox in 2000, the Charlotte area is now hearing from the other end of the spectrum. The local North Tryon Development Corporation is proposing heavy rail lines be built linking Charlotte with Gastonia, Concord, and Monroe at a cost of $100 million per mile. The NTDC says numerous neighborhood light rail lines, commuter rail lines and monorails for South Park and University City should be built be built in the Charlotte area over the next 50 years.

If you're interested in keeping up the fast and furious activity of late on transit in Charlotte log on to CATS web site or Citizens for Efficient Mass Transit website at

The trend toward increased rail and transit services continues to build. At Rail Volution in Denver last Fall Assistant Secretary of Transportation Eugene Conti updated attendees on conditions which continue to fuel the fire. Conti says 22 million new jobs have been created over the last decade , and budget surpluses have been experienced back to back in fiscal years 1999-2000. At the same time transit ridership nationally increased 25 percent from 1995 to 2000, and transit miles traveled are now growing faster than vehicle mile traveled (VMT's). 6 Billion dollars are in the nation's transit budget for fiscal year 2000-2001. Almost 2 billion dollars are expected to flexed from highway accounts.

February, 2001