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CATS CEO John Lewis On What's Next For Charlotte Transit


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The next section of Charlotte's light rail system was set to open this summer, but the transit system has pushed the opening to March 2018. Still, CATS is forging ahead with an ambitious plan to expand the entire transit system. We hear from the CEO of CATS about all of this.

What was supposed to be a big year for the Charlotte Area Transit System suffered a setback Monday with the announcement that the light rail line to the University City area would not open this summer as planned. Instead, the opening of the Blue Line Extension is now slated to open in March 2018.

But CATS still has its eye on an major expansion of the transit system. Construction is expected to begin this year on the next corridor of the streetcar, and transit officials are making plans for additional rail lines to the airport, Matthews and northern Mecklenburg - possibly all at once. 

CATS is updating its 2030 transit plan for the Charlotte area and John Lewis, CEO of CATS, will present it to the Metropolitan Transit Commission late this spring.

Of the future rail lines, Lewis says "the goal is to have them delivered by 2030. That's a goal. It may be two lines done and a couple under construction. But we want to have all the lines under construction with a targeted date of delivery of 2030."

For more details on future transit plans, Lewis joins Mike Collins in this encore presentation of Charlotte Talks.

This program originally aired January 9, 2017.


John Lewis, Jr., chief executive officer, Charlotte Area Transit System (@johnlewcats)

Mary Newsom, associate director, urban and regional affairs, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute (@marynewsom)

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.