CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Obama administration committed $70 million Tuesday for a project to extend the Lynx Blue Line from where it now ends in uptown to the UNC Charlotte Campus.
"It was a very good day for us," said Carolyn Flowers, the CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System.
What's called a "Full Funding Grant Agreement" is expected to be signed later this year. It would commit the government to spending $450 million in construction money.
CATS and the state would then each kick in 25 percent towards the total $1 billion project.
When completed, new tracks would run some 9.4 miles from uptown to the UNC-Charlotte campus, allowing residents from the northeast to have easy and fast public transportation to the city like their neighbors to the south now enjoy.
"I am from New York so I am used to a train system and it was great to get on a train and relax and go to work and then back home with no traffic." said Kim Hunter, who lives in the university area.
The original plan for the Blue Line was to extend it out to Interstate 485 but because of the weakened economy the plan was trimmed back to UNCC.
Construction of the extension as it now stands will include 11 new stations with stops along North Tryon Street, NoDa, and Sugar Creek.
Construction could begin in 2013 and be completed in about 5 years.