When CATS adopted the 2030 Transit Corridor System plan, special considerations were made for the North Corridor. Since 2002, transit plan proposals recommended the 25-mile LYNX Red Line commuter rail from Center City Charlotte to Mount Mourne. The proposed commuter rail would utilize Norfolk Southern’s “O” line to connect Uptown Charlotte to the Towns of Huntersville, Mooresville, Davidson, and Cornelius in North Mecklenburg County.
However, continuing implementation challenges and strategies related to Norfolk Southern's passenger rail policy make the LYNX Red Line commuter rail difficult to implement. Despite these difficulties, the communities in North Mecklenburg County maintained a strong desire for rapid transit service and increased mobility.
Through the LYNX System Update, CATS explored alternative mobility options in the North Corridor. In 2018, CATS rolled out the MetroRAPID Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service as a medium-term transit solution. The MetroRAPID service provides direct Express bus service from four park and ride locations in North Mecklenburg to Uptown Charlotte.
The LYNX Red Line will connect the towns of Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville and Huntersville to Center City Charlotte at the proposed multimodal station in Charlotte Gateway District. During extensive public outreach, communities in the Northern towns indicated a desire for more frequent service, like light rail or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The LYNX Red Line Commuter Rail is the current North Corridor Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). However, until the Norfolk Southern passenger rail policy changes there is no path forward. To meet the public's desire for rapid transit services and increased mobility, CATS staff recommended the following strategy during the January 2019 Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) meeting:
I-77 BRT PROPOSED PROJECT ELEMENTS
View CATS MTC 2030 System Update Presentation
Current Status of North Corridor Transit:
During the February 27, 2019 MTC meeting, BRT implementation in the North Corridor was adopted. While CATS continues discussions with Norfolk Southern, BRT serves as the transit alternative. CATS introduced the MetroRAPID Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in 2018 to connect Uptown Charlotte to the Towns of Cornelius, Huntersville, Davidson in Mecklenburg County and Mooresville in Iredell County.