CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The city of Charlotte received an $18 million federal grant to help improve the Lynx Blue Rail line.
Tuesday morning, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff presented Mayor Anthony Foxx, CATS officials and the city with the multi-million dollar check. The money comes from the Transportation
Investment Generating Economic Recover III (TIGER III) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Charlotte competed against hundreds of other applications for the money.
"This project came out on top," said Rogoff. "In part because we are accommodating growth we already know is here. The Lynx project is already reaching ridership levels close to what was expected in 2030 and…we're not yet in 2012.”
The new money will be used to expand the current two-car trains to three each. Additionally, some of the funding will lengthen platforms and increase power so the heavier, longer cars will operate smoothly. CATS says some 15,000 passengers use the system each and every day.
Mayor Anthony Foxx says the money will also make it easier to expand the system northward towards the UNC Charlotte Campus.
"It gets us to a point where building a three-car line up to UNC Charlotte makes it more of a vision we can do," said Foxx. "We don't want to have a three-car line up there, but not have a three car platform here.”