Construction resumes on first segment of Charlotte's streetcar l - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Construction resumes on first segment of Charlotte's streetcar line

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The city of Charlotte broke ground to resume construction on the first 1.5 mile segment of its first streetcar line in nearly 75 years.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Mayor Anthony Foxx and other local officials to break ground on the Charlotte Streetcar Starter Project, the first phase of a planned 10-mile streetcar line Wednesday morning.

"The streetcar project moves Charlotte a step closer to building a truly connected transit system that will enable commuters, students and visitors to travel seamlessly in and out of downtown," said Secretary LaHood. "The Obama Administration will continue to invest in sustainable transportation choices that keep cities like Charlotte vibrant and growing."

The initial 1.5-mile section of the Charlotte Streetcar line will include six stops along an east-west transit corridor that will make it easy for passengers to catch either a local transit bus or board the LYNX light rail service heading north and south from the Charlotte Transportation Center, where all these services intersect. Today's groundbreaking was held at Presbyterian Hospital, one of the stops on the route.

The project is funded with $25 million from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Urban Circulator Grant Program. The total project cost is $37 million, with the City of Charlotte contributing $12 million.


Charlotte has benefited significantly from federal investments in local transit.

Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation has committed $797 million for the LYNX Blue Line light rail construction. 

This investment includes $580 million announced in October 2012 to effectively double the length of the Blue Line from uptown Charlotte to the city's UNC Charlotte campus and an $18 million grant through the department's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program announced in December 2011 to expand capacity on the existing Blue Line to accommodate more riders during peak hours and special events.

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