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City of Charlotte looking to expand the Gold Line. But there could be trouble on the tracks

Right now, the train runs from Plaza Midwood all the way to the campus of Johnson C. Smith University.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte City Council could approve millions of dollars just to plan for an even longer Gold Line streetcar, but there could be trouble on the tracks.

Let's connect the dots.

City leaders are looking to invest $4.3 million to start planning for Phase 3 of the Gold Line. Right now, the train runs from Plaza Midwood all the way to the campus of Johnson C. Smith University.

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Officials are planning to make it even longer. They want to expand the project so it can reach all the way from Beatties Ford Road in the west to the Eastland Transit Center in the east.

But the idea of an even longer route comes as the train struggles to maintain its current schedule. Back in January, CATS said the streetcar service would be free for the rest of the year due to "unreliable service."

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The transportation agency said the nationwide labor shortage is causing some of the problems. That's on top of issues like parked cars and bad drivers blocking the train from reliably getting where it needs to go.

While leaders work to find solutions, the city council is full steam ahead planning to connect more of Charlotte.  

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