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Charlotte Talks: With New Transit Blueprint In Place, Now Comes Figuring Out How To Pay For It

David Boraks

Monday, May 6, 2019

The man at the helm of Charlotte's transit system, John Lewis, joins guest host Erik Spanberg for a closer look at the latest vision for transit expansion, including an east-west light rail line, and where CATS hopes to come up with the billions of dollars it's going to take to pull it off.

The Metropolitan Transit Commission gave approval in February to an updated long-range plan that envisions light rail running from Matthews on west to Gaston County. There had been talk of running the east-west Silver Line through a tunnel under downtown, but CATS instead routed the line along the northern edge of I-277.

With the new 2030 Plan in place, now comes the task of funding it. Building out the transit network, including the streetcar and extending the Blue Line south into Ballantyne, could cost up to $7 billion.

The transit plan is coming together as Washington looks to take another stab at infrastructure with Democrats and the Trump White House hoping for a multi-trillion dollar package.


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