The city LYNX Gold Line Charlotte streetcar is up and running. The extended line stretches from Johnson C. Smith University to Plaza Midwood and is the first time the east side and west end have been connected with rapid transit.
Plans For The Route
The original line which opened in 2015, runs from Elizabeth to Uptown Charlotte. This latest expansion added 4 miles and 11 stops to the line. It now runs from west of uptown to Plaza Midwood. The plan is for the line to be 10 miles in total joining the Rosa Parks Community Transit Center to the Eastland CTC. The Charlotte Area Transit System(CATS), has upgraded the old trolley cars to 5 hybrid vehicles.
History of Rapid Transit in Charlotte, NC
In the late 1980s, Charlotte officials began talking about building a light rail system in the city. It wasn’t until 1998 that voters approved a half-cent transit tax to support the construction of the Lynx Blue Line. In 2007, then-mayor Pat McCrory took the first ride on the light rail that connected South End to South Charlotte. In 2015 the first phase of the Gold Line(streetcar) was launched. It was met with some criticism as some people thought the project was a waste. After a series of delays, the Lynx Blue Line extension opened in 2018. This extension connected uptown with UNC Charlotte, a big win for students and employers. With the next phase of the Gold Line now open, Charlotte can now give people an alternative to getting into their car to travel around the city.
The next phase of the streetcar has not been funded yet. From the City of Charlotte website: “The CityLYNX Gold Line is a 10-mile (37 stop) streetcar system that is an integral part of the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan and is being built in phases. The full streetcar line will connect all current and future rapid transit lines, including the LYNX Blue Line light rail, LYNX Silver Line light rail, LYNX Red Line commuter rail, and provide a critical connection to the future Charlotte Gateway District and Multimodal Station.”