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Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)
Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Project Sponsor Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)
Mode Light Rail
Description The first phase of Charlotte's LYNX rapid transit system opened in late 2007. It is a 9.6-mile, 15-station light rail transit (LRT) line extending from Uptown Charlotte (the city's central business district) to Interstate 485 in south Mecklenburg County near the South Carolina State line. A 3.7-mile portion of the system operates on a former portion of Norfolk Southern and North Carolina Railroad right-of-way purchased by the City of Charlotte, with the remaining 5.9 miles operating on separate tracks paralleling the remaining Norfolk Southern right-of-way. Seven of the stations include park-and-ride lots with a total of approximately 3,300 spaces. The Blue line is the first of many planned extensions.
Cost $462.7 million
Funding Sources Federal funds
FTA New Starts Full Funding Grant Agreement - $192.9 million
FTA Section 5307 Formula Funds - $6.4 million
State funds
State Full Funding Grant Agreement Funds - $115.7 million
Local funds
Sales Tax Revenue - $147.7 million (½-cent voter approved transit tax, partially funded through Certificates of Participation)
Project Delivery/
Contract Method
Private Partner None
Project Advisors/
Parsons Transportation Group
Archer Western Contractors
Lenders $109.4 million of Long Term Debt issued in the form of Certificates of Participation; Short Term Debt has been redeemed
Duration / Status Construction for the project began in February 2005, and the line was opened November 2007
Financial Status Project close-out by 12/31/09
  • Voter-approved sales tax dedicated to transit improvements used to provide local funding.
  • Excellent partnership pooling funding resources at the Federal, state, and local level.
Related Links / Articles City of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County LYNX Blue Line Website
CATS Annual Reports
CATS Destination: 2030
Contacts David McDonald
Charlotte Area Transit System
600 East Fourth Street
Charlotte, NC 28202