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Charlotte Area Transit System Long Term Transit Plan

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26 minutes ago, kermit said:

The BLE would serve intermediate points where Amtrak won't stop. It also solves the problem of Gateway not connecting to the Blue Line.

A Harrisburg Amtrak station could also serve suburban passengers traveling North and could have a huge parking lot which would resolve complaints about Gateway.  Such a connection would also allow for someone traveling from Greensboro / Raleigh etc. to hop off Amtrak and travel quickly to UNCC, URP or NoDa without having to go downtown and then travel back out -- this might save 25 minutes or more per trip for these people.

The suburban intercity station with massive parking and connected to transit is pretty pretty heavily used in the Northeast (Metropark, New Carrolton, Route 128) 

Having said all that, I don't disagree that a BLE E route up 29 also has some merit.

Fair enough, although I think that if CATS wants to connect the light rail with the Amtrak line, they should just extend the route outlined in my last post to the Amtrak station in Kannapolis.  That way, the entire rail system would offer access to the Kannapolis research campus, Concord, the speedway, and the places you just mentioned, all while providing a legitimate commuting option for the combined 130,000+ residents of Concord and Kannapolis.  I don't have anything against running a LRT to Harrisburg, it's just a good bit smaller in population than Kannapolis and Concord and therefore has far fewer potential riders to draw from.

Edited by nicholas

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^After BLE, the Blue Line will already be almost an hour long from end to end. Short extensions, like Ballantyne or the County Line could still make sense.  However, Kannapolis is way too far for LRT. The easier and cheaper solution would be to beef up service to Kannapolis (and maybe even Salisbury) as commuter rail, but not light rail.

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It would be relatively simple to extend the Blue Line to the intersection of Highway 49 and Mallard Creek. This would be an excellent spot for the northern Charlotte Amtrak station given its proximity to both UNCC and 485.  This was actually one of the sites studied for it in fact. Most of the impacts for extending the Blue Line would just be to parking lots which could be easily reconfigured. Any further extension beyond that should be commuter rail, IMO.

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I agree it would be a natural place to extend to the rail corridor because that is best option for both connecting to the current Piedmont path.   But more as a NC49 park and ride for commuters than for the rail connection.     Either way that 3/4 mile extension (or 1.5 mi to 485 at UC Blvd) could be justifiable for one additional stop that has both benefits, plus serving the music pavilion.   

 

On the Charlotte railroad project update from last year, they do mention a Sugar Creek stop to link to the Blue line.   I think that is very practical given it is already built.  But a terminus for the Blue line should be at a corridor where future commuter rail can connect.  The Piedmont train does have some function as a commuter from outer cities now that it is 3x daily (and maybe should eventually add another stop in Cabarrus), but  then the Gateway station and Sugar Creek for Blue line distribution is probably more effective for those commuters than a connection at the end of the Blue Line.   

Kannapolis is already served by the Piedmont train, so that IS the commuter rail.  They just need to get to a stage where additional frequency can be supported .   But a coming every 3 hours starting this quarter means there is already a transit option from Kannapolis to Charlotte.  Far easier to focus on adding more trains and a Concord stop to the Piedmont route than a new commuter rail specifically for Cabarrus  county.    

https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/16904

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17 minutes ago, nmundo said:

Everyone's been talking about theoretical future routes. I've been working on this map for about a week and I finally think it's good enough to share, still have a bit of work to do on alignment and transfer stations and such but I think it's pretty solid. 

CATS Fantasy.png

exceptional!

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^ Love it! Particularly a fan of what you have done with the bottom end of the Gold Line plus the new purple (extension of North line). The coverage of all corners of Uptown is also inspired.

Seriously, a work of art.

Bonus points for excellent attention to transfer points!

You made my day!

(nitpick: Griffith (on green) is misspelled)

Edited by kermit
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I especially think the Orange Line and the extension of the Blue Line to the South are very profitable. I also say the same about the purple line. Obviously I don't think we will see this amount of lines until much farther down the road, But it's a good start. I think we will definitely see a few more lines added in the near future however.

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I think that your new Yellow line spurs/extensions  lack the needed redevelopment potential to sell them.  Plaza is a historically designated street that will unlikely see much change.  Hawthorne would have a similar terminus and more potential for redevelopment.  The Kenilworth/Scott pair does not go through the Historic District, but will touch a border of one.... and the closer in portions are already nearing build out without the stimulus.  I think we should be shooting spurs off toward existing urbanized industrial and distribution areas like SouthEnd that will be less resistant than residential neighborhoods to redevelopment.

 

EDIT:  Overall, I love your concept though.

Edited by archiham04

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On 2/4/2018 at 2:18 PM, southslider said:

^After BLE, the Blue Line will already be almost an hour long from end to end. Short extensions, like Ballantyne or the County Line could still make sense.  However, Kannapolis is way too far for LRT. The easier and cheaper solution would be to beef up service to Kannapolis (and maybe even Salisbury) as commuter rail, but not light rail.

Fair enough.  I guess my thinking behind extending the Blue Line to Concord/Kannapolis is that it can already take just at least as long to get across Charlotte by car during rush hour (although once the I-85 widening project is complete, the bottleneck that backs up the interstate from NC 73 should hopefully be a non-issue).  With few stops between UNCC and Concord, it should be fairly expedient.  I mapped out the Blue Line on a Google Map I've been working on, though, and it would definitely be a pretty major extension, probably a little bit too much for the area right now.  Still, better to lay the groundwork for urbanization now than to try to fix suburbanization 20+ years down the road (or track, in this case).

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IyxaBddzP2q4FCZn_nIRrfJ0eBs&usp=sharing

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The FTA fiscal 2019 funding report is now out: https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/funding/grant-programs/capital-investments/69556/fy19-annual-report.pdf

This year the recommended zero ($0) funding for new transit projects. This is the second year in a row that they declined to fund any new transit projects. The FTA says that localities will need to fund their own transit projects, but they fail to note the considerable irony that substantial federal funding for local road projects continues. 

While this isn't an immediate problem for CATS (we have nothing that is close to the funding application stage), it does create a substantial backlog of transit projects waiting for funding -- a backlog that will need to be worked through in future fiscal years before a CATS project reaches the 'front of the line' for federal funding.

TLDR: the 2030 plan just became the 2031 plan.

Edited by kermit
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At least zero new local projects matches the President's plans to eliminateTIGER and New Starts.

But whatever setbacks in time and money, I'm sure gutting environmental review for expedited permitting will make up the difference.

Just start thinking of 2020 as when transit plans are given new life locally (full-cent), at the state level (break the super-majority), and nationally (Return of the Cities).

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