Transit Planning
Tuesday, January 28, 2014  
CityLYNX Gold Line Update
Charlotte City Council approved authorization of $12 million during their January 27 meeting to advance CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 project and stay on track to meet current and future goals.
Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Flowers and Transit Planning Manager David McDonald provide a summary of the approval:
CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 Funding Processes
Last year, City Council approved two actions to further the progression of CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2. The City Manager was authorized to apply for federal grants and loan funding for up to 50 percent of Phase 2 and adopted a budget ordinance to allocate $63 million in existing General Community Investment Pay-As-You-Go and Municipal Debt Service Funds to provide a 50 percent City local match for the project.
In November, staff submitted a request to enter project development under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Small Starts grant program with an anticipated response in the near future. Upon FTA approval, the City will be authorized to advance work on Phase 2, which includes advancing design to the 65 percent level, vehicle engineering, preparation of land use and economic development reports and preparation of a financial plan.  The $12 million will fund this work and is necessary to support the future Small Starts grant application.  Any local funds spent will be eligible for future reimbursement upon the execution of a Small Starts Grant agreement. No contracts will be executed until FTA approval to enter project development is received.
An example of the City utilizing this process in the past was with the south corridor, in the early stages of the project, in order to advance it to a Full Funding Grant Agreement with FTA. Also, Charlotte’s practice of advancing funding for the planning and design of bond projects help to better define and explain the project to voters, prior to the actual bond vote. The Small Starts grant process, unlike the TIGER grants, requires the FTA to evaluate the eligibility and merit of the project before it is allowed to proceed in the process. Permission to Enter Project Development is a pivotal endorsement of the ability to advance to a Small Starts grant agreement.
Because federal funds are requested, the contracts are required to adhere to Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements. DBE goals will be established as contracts and amendments to contracts are developed. Funding will come from the General Community Investment Plan. To learn more about CATS and its services, visit www.ridetransit.org or call 704-336-7433.