U.S. Department of Transportation Breaks Ground on New Streetcar System in Charlotte

The system will improve transport options for economically diverse neighborhoods and create jobs

U.S. Department of Transportation Breaks Ground on New Streetcar System in Charlotte
Image: City of Charlotte
January 17, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has broken ground on the second phase of the Charlotte Area Transit System (CAT)'s new streetcar system.

The CityLYNX Gold Line Streetcar system is expected to improve options for transportation in the greater Charlotte area and to offer fast and more convenient downtown access.

"The Charlotte Streetcar investment comes at a critical time for Charlotte," said DOT Secretary Foxx. "As the community seeks to reconnect areas of the city, expand job creation into historically underserved areas and bring the entire city together, this project has the potential to do so. This project can be more than a transportation asset; it can be a community builder."

This second phase of the 2.5-mile system expansion will improve circulation and transportation connections, support economic revitalization, provide residents of economically diverse neighborhoods with access to Uptown Charlotte, provide more efficient transportation options, and connect important activity centers and facilities such as Johnson C. Smith University, Johnson and Wales University, and the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.

When the streetcar project is finished, it will be four miles long, an expansion from the original 1.5-mile section that opened for service in phase one in July 2015.

"The Federal Transit Administration [FTA] is proud to partner with CATS to expand streetcar service in Charlotte, which is an important part of the region's commitment to expand and modernize public transportation for hard-working families," said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. "When completed, the newly expanded streetcar line will make a huge difference for thousands of commuters who need and deserve reliable transit service."

This new phase of the project will include 11 new stops, changes to six existing stops, and the purchase of six modern streetcars.

The total cost of the project will reach $150 million. Roughly half of this amount will be paid for by an FTA Small Starts grant, while the rest will be covered by the City of Charlotte.

It is expected that the extension to the project will be finished by the summer of 2020.