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LYNX Blue Line Extension Northeast Corridor Light Rail Project Description
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The Blue Line Extension extends from Ninth Street in Center City through the North Davidson (NoDa) and University areas to UNC Charlotte. The service will operate generally within the existing railroad right of way from Center City to NoDa and then remain within the North Tryon Street (US 29) right of way from Old Concord Road north, terminating on the UNC Charlotte campus.

Our New BLE video will guide you through the LYNX Blue Line Extension alignment, highlighting several features along the way, as well as sharing some of the connections light rail brings to Charlotte.

Example of a LYNX light rail station.Trains will operate seven days a week from 5:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. and the fare will equal the cost of local bus fare.  Trains will arrive at stations every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours.   The line is scheduled to begin operations in 2017.  

Blue Line Extension Alignment Map (revised March 2014)

Go to the BLE Alignment Maps page to view real estate and project layout maps at the beginning of final design phase.

The BLE Continues to Move Forward!

As the BLE project moves forward, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires CATS to look at all changes made to the project design since the FTA issued the Record of Decision (ROD) in December 2011. This review is called an “environmental re-evaluation” for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CATS used what is called an “Environmental Re-evaluation Consultation Worksheet” to evaluate the project changes. CATS concluded that the changes in the project design would result in no significant changes in the effects identified in the ROD. FTA agreed with CATS’ findings and issued a concurrence letter to CATS. Below is a link to the concurrence letter, the signed re-evaluation consultation worksheet and the appendix.

Enviromental Re-evaluation Consultation Worksheet

Appendix

Attachment A - Project Description

Attachment B - Toby Creek Greenway Connector

Attachment C - Duke Utility Transmission Tower Relocation

Attachment D - Clark Drive Interlocking

Attachment E - JW Clay Park and Ride Deck

Attachment F - Herrin Brothers Coal and Ice

Attachment G - Standard Chemical Production Plant

Attachment H - Grinnell/Newco Fiber Building

Attachment I - Real Estate Acquisition Notification

Federal Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA):
On October 16, 2012, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff, City of Charlotte Mayor Foxx, Metropolitan Transit Commission Chair Harold Cogdell, CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers and state and local leaders celebrated the receipt of a Federal Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the BLE. The Federal FFGA will provide 50 percent of the project costs for the BLE and is the last major funding source needed to advance the project towards construction. State and local funds would make up the remaining half.

Entry into Final Design:
In July 2012, the FTA approved entry into Final Design. This milestone allows the project to be developed from the 65 percent to the 100 percent design level and complete preparation of final construction plans, right-of-way acquisition, construction cost estimates, bid documents and utility relocation.

BLE Entry into Final Design Signed by FTA July 2012.pdf

Record of Decision (ROD):
In December 2011, FTA signed and issued the Record of Decision (ROD) on the LYNX Blue Line Extension Project. The ROD is a major milestone in the federal process. The ROD is a report that states FTA's determination that NEPA has been completed for the project. The ROD describes the basis for FTA's decision, identifies alternatives that were considered, and summarizes specific mitigation measures that will be incorporated into the project.

 BLE Record of Decision Signed by FTA December 2011.pdf

Light Rail Stations
Eleven light rail stations are proposed for the LYNX Blue Line Extension rapid transit alignment based on initial identification in the Major Investment Study (MIS) completed in 1998 and further refinements in the Preliminary Engineering study phase.  Station locations are based on access, site characteristics, compatibility with surrounding development, potential development and public comments.  Most stations will be serviced by CATS' bus network.

All stations will have canopy coverage, covered ticket vending machines (TVMs), system and area maps, train and bus schedules, public art, bicycle storage, benches, trash receptacles and security features.