City of Charlotte breaks ground on streetcar starter project

13 December 2012 (Last Updated December 13th, 2012 18:30)

The city of Charlotte in North Carolina, US, has broken ground on the initial 1.5-mile segment of the city's planned ten-mile streetcar line.

The city of Charlotte in North Carolina, US, has broken ground on the initial 1.5-mile segment of the city’s planned ten-mile streetcar line.

"The $37m Charlotte streetcar starter project is intended to expand transit options by connecting different parts of the city."

The $37m Charlotte streetcar starter project is intended to expand transit options by connecting different parts of the city, as well as stimulating economic growth.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: "The streetcar project moves Charlotte a step closer to building a truly connected transit system that will enable commuters, students and visitors to travel seamlessly in and out of downtown."

The first section of the streetcar line will stretch from Presbyterian Hospital in Elizabeth to the Charlotte Transportation Center and Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown.

The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has provided about $25m for the project, while the remaining $12m was put forward by the city of Charlotte.

FTA administrator Peter Rogoff said the new streetcar line will help the city develop its public transport network.

"It will help to accelerate new economic activity along Trade Street and Elizabeth Avenue while capitalising on the tremendous success of the LYNX light rail service," Rogoff said.

Expected to start service from 2015, the 1.5-mile section of the line will be comprised of six stations along an east-west transit corridor.

FTA provided $580m to the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in October 2012 for the $1.16bn light rail LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) in the city.