Jump to content

Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


Recommended Posts

Leaving my car at Hendrick Honda for the day, they gave me a ride to Sharon Road West, and gave me two little gold tokens for the train (one for the trip uptown, one for the trip back, they told me). They say "one ride local - CATS" on one side, and "LYNX - one ride local" on the other side. They're a little smaller than a nickel.

My question: How do I use these? I punched up a one-way ticket on the ticket machine and punched CASH (CREDIT was the only other option) and put in the token, and it just spat back out the coin return. I looked on the CATS/LYNX website, but wasn't able to find anything. What am I missing here?

The machine should have taken the token. I've done this several times (gotten light rail tokens from Hendrick) and was able to purchase a one-way adult ticket from the TVM with the CATS token. It was probably just a malfunction. You could also try calling CATS to see if they have changed their token policy.

Edited by Datamastr
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

  • Replies 6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Just some before and after photos of the view of uptown and the blue line from 11th street. Definitely a big difference!

Posted Images

^I agree. I think a full funding grant should be pursued by CATS. You couldn't ask for a better time than now to go for it. Yea, there's no way service for the extension could be ready by Sept 2012. Does anyone recall when dirt started moving on the initial light rail construction?

Link to post
Share on other sites

^I agree. I think a full funding grant should be pursued by CATS. You couldn't ask for a better time than now to go for it. Yea, there's no way service for the extension could be ready by Sept 2012.

If some progress has been made, couldn't they allow the trains to run? For example, let's say that as we extend northwards, we can get to NoDa. Why not just call that the end of the line until the full line is open?

--Joey

Link to post
Share on other sites

^Getting to NoDa requires about as much costly infrastructure as reaching UNCC. To reach NoDa, the BLE has to go over the CSX between 12th and 16th Streets, plus potentially over the AC&W (if not relocated via CRISP) between 30th and 32nd Streets. And the NoDa station itself at 36th Street is to be grade-separated, with 36th Street reconstructed to go under the NS railroad. In other words, there would be a lot of construction between now and 2012 to just reach NoDa.

Perhaps, building an extension to just 9th Street could be built by 2012, but funding would be complicated. Besides, I wonder if trains will even be allowed to carry passengers north of 3rd Street, given security concerns about the Arena.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think rushing to extend the lightrail in the short term would have any benefit for the convention anyway. Us residents and lightrail users would appreciate a jumpstart, of course, but convention-goers won't be any more impressed by a line that runs to NoDa (much less 9th street) than they will be by the line we have right now, as its not like there are likely to be any destinations to the north for them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most convention goers will be tour bused into downtown anyway. I vote for Bearden park to be the big priority. We are missing a big gathering place that is something other than a parking lot. I wonder what sized crowd it would hold? If anything, they could tear up the asphalt and have a nice grass lawn in the area.

Link to post
Share on other sites

While its not directly related to Charlotte the Transport Politic has an excellent analysis of transit triggered infill development in Arlington VA using 2010 census data.

TOD in Alexandria VA

While the blue line is certainly an order of magnitude less robust than the metro this does present a case that TOD along the blue line will generate substantial new property tax revenue and ridership.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just back from a walk along the blue line path from Remount to Tremont this morning. I was struck by two things. The first was the vast amount of open space between Remount and the Spectrum (on both sides of the tracks). The second was that Spectrum and the other TOD apartments closer to town are doing very well.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Dunavant+and+Remount+28203&aq=&sll=35.205181,-80.862873&sspn=0.010502,0.019011&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Remount+Rd+%26+Dunavant+St,+Charlotte,+Mecklenburg,+North+Carolina+28203&ll=35.20483,-80.865533&spn=0.010502,0.019011&t=h&z=16

These two observations made me wonder if it may be time for an infill blue line stop in the Remount / Atherton street area. A glance at google maps indicates this would make station spacing between East/West and New Bern roughly the same as the spacing North of East/West. I do understand this would slow the trip from 485 to town by about one minute (?) but the benefits of increased infil and its associated ridership look to be promising. I am betraying my biases here, I have always thought LRT was more about creating density than running a shuttle service from the burbs....

I vaguely remember discussion in this thread from 2007ish about a developer offering to pay for an Ideal Way stop -- if the apartment market continues to be strong in the area perhaps this is an opportunity for a public/private partnership.

Its hard not to dream on a warm sunny mid winter day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't really have anything to do with the Blue Line directly, but I wasn't sure where else to ask this. What are some of the requirements needed for a true subway system to be considered? Aside from whether it can physically be done, i.e. proper bedrock/foundation, what are the density levels typically needed? I would guess that they are typically chosen almost solely on the fact that there is no available space above land to situate the new infrastructure, but I am pulling that from thin air since I have little knowledge on this subject. Could it be an issue that a subway requires way more money than cities want to spend nowadays?

Does anyone think Charlotte will ever grow to the size or density to where a subway would be a viable option. Not trying to hijack this thread or veer it off course so if anyone could point me in a direction where I could read up more on this I would greatly appreciate it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A "sub"way could be anything that runs below ground. In Boston, the Green Line is LRT at street-level, but goes below ground into the same "sub"way tunnels as the Red, Blue and Orange Line (which are powered by heavy-third rail). The Green Line can turn on/off it's overhead-wire power. The Silver Line BRT in Boston does this too: it runs on street with diesel power, but moves in and out of a system of dedicated "sub"way tunnels under fixed guideway power sources.

I could see a need for a tunneled section of Lynx in Charlotte someday. But I doubt we'd ever need a heavy-rail conversion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Until the 1990s it was routine for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to pay 80% of the costs of building a transit line. Somewhere along there, either the money available for transit New Starts decreased significantly, or the competition for it increased significantly, and it became such that no project would even get considered for funding at all unless it required 50% or less federal funding.

It's really, really hard to build a subway when you have to come up with 50% of the money to build it locally.

There are also strict cost-benefit requirements for transit projects, and a subway line won't even be considered unless its ridership is predicted to be in the neighborhood of 100,000 per day or higher.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps, building an extension to just 9th Street could be built by 2012, but funding would be complicated. Besides, I wonder if trains will even be allowed to carry passengers north of 3rd Street, given security concerns about the Arena.

I hope they at least make the last stop at a surface station. The elevated stations won't be able to handle the crowds if they are the "end of the line." Besides that, the trains will have to go to 7th St just to turn around.

This doesn't really have anything to do with the Blue Line directly, but I wasn't sure where else to ask this. What are some of the requirements needed for a true subway system to be considered? Aside from whether it can physically be done, i.e. proper bedrock/foundation, what are the density levels typically needed? I would guess that they are typically chosen almost solely on the fact that there is no available space above land to situate the new infrastructure, but I am pulling that from thin air since I have little knowledge on this subject. Could it be an issue that a subway requires way more money than cities want to spend nowadays?

Does anyone think Charlotte will ever grow to the size or density to where a subway would be a viable option. Not trying to hijack this thread or veer it off course so if anyone could point me in a direction where I could read up more on this I would greatly appreciate it.

Charlotte doesn't really have the growth patterns (eg: density) to warrant a subway in the sense you mean. You already touched on the reason: money. It's more cost effective to build streetcar or light rail, and it accomplishes the same thing. And the federal government is not pushing HRT at all. Even cities that have true subway systems are finding it difficult to fund extensions (Atlanta and New York).

Although the counterpoint could be made that Atlanta was similar in size to today's Charlotte when MARTA was constructed, we also have to consider that the federal government was willing to spend money on it at the time. Today, in terms of rapid transit, they are more focused on LRT and Streetcar systems, which are more practical for more cities in America.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Ray LaHood is in town today. http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/print-edition/2011/03/04/transit-backers-turn-to-dc.html?ana=e_ph

Sounds like he will be riding the blue line down to Bland street this afternoon and may stop by common market (based on some ease dropping).

Hopefully he is impressed but (after the last time he was in town) I will take nothing he says about funding seriously.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray LaHood is in town today. http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/print-edition/2011/03/04/transit-backers-turn-to-dc.html?ana=e_ph

Sounds like he will be riding the blue line down to Bland street this afternoon and may stop by common market (based on some ease dropping).

Hopefully he is impressed but (after the last time he was in town) I will take nothing he says about funding seriously.

I'm bringing confetti, and eggs...just in case.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

A recently released report by the Center for Transit Oriented Development "Rails To Real Estate" examined the new development adjacent to new LRT lines around the country. The study looked at Denver, Minneapolis and Charlotte. http://ctod.org/portal/sites/default/files/CTOD_R2R_Final_20110321.pdf

While the methodology of the report may be subject to some debate (particularly around the issue of causality) one of surprising (to me) findings was:

All three transit lines experienced a tremendous amount of new development. Charlotte’s Blue Line had the most development, with approximately 9.8 million square feet of new space between 2005 and 2009.
Link to post
Share on other sites

^ How much of that is because Charlotte had a ton of open/abandoned lots with little real estate prospect - and because the city rezoned huge swaths of land in one swoop to make development easier. I wonder if the other cities had proven real estate in the area before the lines.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • dubone unpinned this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.