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CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red Lines


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There’s a good chance that if the referendum is approved by NCGA and ratified by the voters in 2022 that the Silver Line will happen.  I would wager it won’t be open until after 2030 but it will be under construction sometime late this decade.  I say this because there is tremendous support for it among the localities and because it’s comprehensive meaning not only just Rail Based. 

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*cracks knuckles* here's my takeaways from the MTC meeting tonight: Red Line: The staff recommendation is to keep commuter rail on the O-line as the preferred option. What this largely boils do

I went to the Matthews Community meeting for the Silver Line station area planning last night and I thought y'all might appreciate some of the pictures/information from the event. I meant to take

Hushpuppy321, your question is the perfect segue into further discussions on the proper role of transit, and to do it justice requires more writing and reading than many can tolerate on a forum such a

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On 2/23/2021 at 4:59 PM, kermit said:

Because I am procrastinating I drew this completely half-assed crayon for the Purple Line (sorry about the bad color choice on the map) and the BLE-E2

We gotta start thinking about transit more broadly than we currently are. Charlotte has a ton of issues creeping up on us (affordable housing and the lack of economic mobility being two of the most visible at the moment). Build a radial line from the Silver at the airport stop, under the terminal and taxiways (the diagonal runway will be gone). The line would run in a tunnel beneath all the fancy airport stuff and provide connections to the new midfield terminal just like at MSP (CLT can now pay for this).  From the South side of the airport the line can open up noisy, but largely unused space for some new housing that is transit accessible. From there the line would connect to the Blue line at either Woodlawn or Tyvola and then travel on to Southpark. Its ambitious since there is not a great deal of demand for such a route now, but if the airport noise issues could be worked out then the line could open up a great deal of new housing with the goal of lowering cost of living here (while not increasing auto dependence).

The BLE-Ewould connect the Westinghouse area industrial park (the employment opportunities there) to transit. Circulation within the park could be provided by some self-driving Arrival shuttles (doable since it is a confined space and a defined route).  This would connect low-income housing with a large portion of the non-professional employment opportunities in town -- thus fulfilling one of the Biden administration goals of using transit to address equity issues.

It would make sense to pair the BLE-E2 with a spur at the other end of the line to University Research Park where you could use another set of driverless shuttles from our local electric bus company for distribution.

Don't tell me I am stupid (particularly the airport part -- what a stroke of genius to provide LRT driect to the terminal, but making it a two seat ride from Uptown), I am avoiding work.

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I look forward Kermit to you telling us all ‘I told you so’  in 30 years. 

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42 minutes ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

Does anyone know yet how much $$ CATS is getting from the $30 Billion Stimulus Funding and what they would use it for?

I am a little fuzzy on the details but I believe all of that transit stimulus is for operations. There may be a requirement that systems return to pre-covid frequencies (which the bill would pay for). The funds are intended to get transit systems to 2023 without major cuts to operations so no capital budget funds for transit are included here.

An infrastructure bill would be the place where we might see big capital projects money, but that is most likely to go to agencies that have a plan that is ready to go. I don’t believe the Silver Line (or anything else in Mecklenburg) will fit into that category. 

One change we -might- see from the Buttigieg DOT is a reduction in local funding requirements for transit. Since the cost split on road construction is often 80% federal dollars, we may see the same rules applied to transit (although where those extra federal dollars would come from is still unclear).

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1 hour ago, kermit said:


IMO CATS and CMPD completely half-assed this trial.

Agreed, we can't even take fricking baby steps! I know someone who was opposed because they don't like to take the bus and this slows down their commute by a couple minutes. My answer is - "tough crap".

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On 3/22/2021 at 10:08 AM, kermit said:


IMO CATS and CMPD completely half-assed this trial.

Not attacking you, but genuinely curious what you think CATS could have done to roll this out better.  In my mind, there should have been better communication with the folks living in the area about why the city is doing it and what the benefits are.  It truly was perceived as nothing more than a nuisance by my neighbors.   CMPD never enforced the rule and, in my mind, created a dangerous situation by incentivizing wreckless drivers to speed through the right lane past stopped cars in the left lane.

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17 hours ago, CTiger said:

Not attacking you, but genuinely curious what you think CATS could have done to roll this out better.  In my mind, there should have been better communication with the folks living in the area about why the city is doing it and what the benefits are.  It truly was perceived as nothing more than a nuisance by my neighbors.   CMPD never enforced the rule and, in my mind, created a dangerous situation by incentivizing wreckless drivers to speed through the right lane past stopped cars in the left lane.

I did have an issue with  the lack of enforcement (CMPD could have handed out warnings).  But my main issue with the project was that CATS dropped the ball in presenting the purpose of the project to the public. Your neighbors thought it was a pain in the ass, but were they at all aware it was potentially part of a much larger project to make transit faster and more cost effective? If not, that was CATS’ fault. All CATS accomplished with the demonstration project was generate ill will from the public and provide NIMBYs with more ammunition to fight future BRT.

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While the cancelled November election is not news, it also does not appear that the County will approach the legislature about permission to increase the sales tax this year. This is not a tragedy, the current legislature was very unlikely to say yes.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2021/03/24/state-lawmakers-see-little-traction-for-tax-hike.html

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On 3/25/2021 at 2:14 PM, kermit said:

Southeast Rail Conference report. A NCDOT rail rep says:

2024 Open date for Gateway Station which will coincide with a new Piedmont frequency.

Harrisburg Station remains under development -- which will grease the wheels for commuter rail to Salisbury.

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What is the timeline for new carriages? 

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On 3/28/2021 at 8:59 PM, kermit said:

Siemans is currently the only competent / reliable railcar maker in the US, if NCDOT goes with them (will be surprised if they don't)

I am sort of expecting them NCDOT to announce a joint procurement with Amtrak.

Siemens has an off the shelf design that's already in service which certainly gives them a leg up. That said, Stadler seems pretty competent, and Alstom just won a big order in Chicago, too.. 

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3 hours ago, orulz said:

I am sort of expecting them NCDOT to announce a joint procurement with Amtrak.

Siemens has an off the shelf design that's already in service which certainly gives them a leg up. That said, Stadler seems pretty competent, and Alstom just won a big order in Chicago, too.. 

Atlanta purchased the single largest order in Stadler history. 125 trainsets due for delivery between now and 2023. Manufactured in Utah.

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