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Uptown Transit Terminals Being Planned
Uptown Transit Terminals Being Planned

We already have the Charlotte Transportation Center on Brevard Street, between East Trade and Fourth Streets. This fine transit facility is the current hub of our local bus system. However some may question why the hub for our bus system wasn’t combined with a terminal for inter-city rail and bus, and future light rail, so that we would have a seamless transfer between one mode of transportation and another.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is now working on plans for a Multi-modal Transportation Center (MMC) on West Trade Street at the Norfolk Southern railway tracks, at the point where the original Charlotte train station once stood. The MCC would combine inter-city rail (Amtrak) and bus (Greyhound and other companies) into one central location, so that the two services interface with each other.

At some point it is hoped that light rail and possibly the Trolley will run through or nearby the MMC as well. The missing link will be local bus service which may pass by the MMC, but will remain centered at the current Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) five blocks to the east.

At the time that the CTC was being planned to take buses off crowded uptown streets, a number of transit advocates suggested that the proper thing to do was combine all our transit services into one central location. However, our city officials and transit operators seemed to think the West Trade Street location now proposed for the MMC was too remote from the Square (Trade and Tryon) and the center of activities in the Uptown area. It was pointed out to our officials that a transit center of West Trade would make an excellent anchor for future development along West Trade, and the fact that signs of that redevelopment were already beginning to occur along the street.

All of this did not change their minds, however, and the CTC was built in its present location. The fact that it is a good facility and a lot of money went into its construction makes it unthinkable now to abandon it. So we must now make do with two unconnected transit hubs. The problem now is how to connect them to make travel between them as easy as possible. We already have a free shuttle bus system circling the central business district. This could help solve the problem. Another and potentially better solution would be to extend the Charlotte Trolley and eventually light rail to loop around the uptown area, coming back to parallel the Norfolk Southern tracks passing near, if not through the MMC. This would provide a fast and nearly traffic free link between the two terminals.

It seems rather ironic to us that the site of the future Multi-Modal Transit Center on West Trade, once deemed as too remote, might soon become virtually the center of everything that is happening in the uptown area. With Ericsson Stadium, the proposed new coliseum and/or baseball stadium, the Gateway complex, and all the new residential developments in the vicinity, there could be no better location for a new transit center!