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Streetcar Differences Emerge In Mayoral Debate. What's Your Opinion?

Greg Collard
Charlotte voters will decide whether Republican Kenny Smith, left, or Democrat Vi Lyles will be the city's sixth mayor in less than a decade.

Charlotte’s two mayoral candidates see expanding public transit as a way to increase economic mobility in the city. Republican Kenny Smith and Democrat Vi Lyles addressed the issue on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks this morning. But they disagree on whether the streetcar is a good investment. 

Lyles says it will increase opportunities by connecting the east and west sides.  

“Anytime we can move people around a city that connects them to work or economic opportunity, I’m going to support those things,” said Lyles. 

Smith says the streetcar is too expensive to operate and doesn’t move people efficiently. He points to the Lynx light rail line as a better investment.

“It’s had tremendous economic booms because you have tracks off the main road and very long stretches of developable property,” says Smith.  

You can listen to Charlotte Talks whole mayoral debate here.