Lynx Blue Line

Credit David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte has an ambitious plan to expand its transportation options in the region. The Lynx Blue Line -- the city's first light rail line opened in 2007 -- is a major part of that plan. Here, you'll find news, interviews and analysis on the Lynx Blue Line from WFAE. 

A Blue Line train pulls away from J.W. Clay Station on North Tryon Street near UNC Charlotte in this 2018 file photo.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 1:19 p.m.
Charlotte Area Transit System is making buses and trains free, but plans to reduce service by about one-half beginning Wednesday until further notice, as commuting slows because of the coronavirus. CATS says ridership is down 41 percent since early March on buses and the Lynx Blue Line light rail.

A Blue Line train pulls away from J.W. Clay Station on North Tryon Street near UNC Charlotte in this 2018 file photo.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte City Council on Monday night approved rezoning nearly 1,800 acres along the LYNX Blue Line.

CATS Blue Line train
WFAE

The LYNX Blue Line will close Saturday and Sunday for annual maintenance and bus service will be added in place of light rail service, the Charlotte Area Transit System said. Regular service will resume Monday.

As cities consider building new rail lines and development around existing ones, you often hear concerns about the changes displacing low-income residents. Research by UNC Charlotte geographers challenges this assumption.

Platform Lofts will be on North Tryon Street, across from the Old Concord Road light rail station. Rents will be $600 to just over $1,000 a month.
NRP Group

City and business leaders gathered Friday to mark the start of construction on a 198-unit affordable apartment complex along the Blue Line Light Rail extension in northeast Charlotte that's being built with a mix of private and city funds, and tax credits.

Steve Harrison

When Charlotte Area Transit System was building the $1.1 billion light rail extension, the transit system projected the entire 19-mile line would carry about 33,500 passengers on a weekday, in the first year. The train is supposed to keep increasing passengers each year after that.

CATS Blue Line train
WFAE

Service on the LYNX Blue Line will return to normal beginning Monday morning, Charlotte Area Transit System says. 

A tree and utility line remain down on a street in Plaza Midwood.
Sarah Delia / WFAE

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
It could be a week before full light rail and streetcar service is restored in Charlotte, due to damage caused by Hurricane Michael last Thursday. Meanwhile, the city says at least 50 streets remain completely or partially blocked. 

View from a train at 36th Street Station in NoDa
David Boraks / WFAE

A street connecting two busy north Charlotte roads in NODA will remain closed at least through October 31.

Crystal Hogue / WFAE

It's been five months since the light rail extension debuted in north Charlotte. The $1.2 billion project was heralded as the future of Charlotte transportation and a step toward avoiding traffic congestion. But some drivers say the extension has made traffic worse, particularly along North Tryon Street. 

A LYNX Blue Line Train at 9th Street Station uptown. CATS is trying to figure out how to pay for expanding the transit system north, west and southeast of uptown.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

The head of Charlotte Area Transit System says property owners and other private partners will be needed to help pay for the estimated $6-8 billion in transit projects he wants to complete by 2030.

New lines would expand the Lynx system north and west of Charlotte. CATS plans meetings on how to link new lines with existing ones, including the Lynx Blue Line (photo).
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

Charlotte Area Transit System is considering new options for extending transit lines north and west of the city, and for tying them all together with existing lines uptown. There are a few surprises.

A LYNX Blue Line Train at 9th Street Station uptown. CATS is trying to figure out how to pay for expanding the transit system north, west and southeast of uptown.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

Charlotte Area Transit System says damage to overhead power lines early Monday morning has interrupted service on the Blue Line light rail between UNC Charlotte and McCullough stations in northeast Charlotte.  

CATS has cut some bus routes and added others so fewer riders have to pass through the Transit Center uptown.
Charlotte Area Transit System

With last week's opening of the Lynx Blue Line Extension, Charlotte Area Transit System on Monday discontinued some bus routes and revised others so they connect with the light rail.

A Blue Line train approaches 9th Street Station uptown.
David Boraks / WFAE

At long last, opening day is here for the $1.2 billion CATS Blue Line Extension. After ceremonies Friday morning, the light rail line from uptown to UNC Charlotte is scheduled to open to the public at 10 a.m.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

It was only around 70 years ago that Charlotte had a booming trolley system, with dozens of orange-colored streetcars running up and down the middle of Queens Road, The Plaza, and other surrounding streets and neighborhoods. That is, until the late 1930s came around, and the city dismantled the system, envisioning a future where cars and buses would become the city's primary modes of transportation.

Alex Olgin / WFAE

In two weeks, the Blue Line light rail extension will finally open to the public. Local, state and federal officials were able to ride the rail on its new path Monday, which extends nine miles from uptown to UNC Charlotte. There’s excitement about the opening and the future, but concern about if the extension will reduce traffic now.

David Boraks / WFAE

Test trains are running again on the Blue Line light rail extension from uptown to northeast Charlotte, after problems with crossing gates forced a temporary halt Wednesday. Charlotte Area Transit System says the issue won't affect the planned March 16 start of service on the new line.

Michael Fleming takes a photo of his NoDa apartment building from the Blue Line light rail train during a test ride Tuesday.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
The Lynx Blue Line extension from uptown to UNC Charlotte opens in just a month. CATS has been running empty trains on the new light rail tracks since January. On Tuesday, a few citizens were the first to try it out, and they're already imagining the possibilities.

 Blue Line Extension train
Crystal Hogue / WFAE

Though it's not set to officially open until March, trains will begin running along the Lynx Blue Line Extension Monday between uptown and UNC Charlotte.  There will not be any passengers on board though.  CATS says it’s running a simulation of the extended line. 

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