The current Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the West Corridor is a streetcar alignment branching off from the CityLYNX Gold Line. However, as the West Corridor continues to transition and grow, it became necessary to evaluate the necessary transportation and land use analysis to update the 2030 Transit System Corridor Plan. During its study, CATS compared other transit investments options and determined light rail as the most logical technology for the West Corridor.
CATS' study also concluded that there was opportunity to create a single east-west light rail corridor that extends from Matthews to the airport and potentially beyond. This would create a single seamless corridor similar to the LYNX Blue Line and recently constructed LYNX Blue Line Extension.
During the January 2019 MTC meeting, CATS staff recommended:
•Light rail replace streetcar as the West Corridor Transit Mode
•Wilkinson Blvd as the light rail alignment including planning for rail trail
•West Corridor be included in the LYNX Silver Line project
•Extend light rail across the Catawba River to the City of Belmont
•As part of the Regional Transit Study, evaluate light rail to downtown Gastonia
•Implement enhanced bus services and bus stop capital improvements along West Blvd
It is anticipated, the MTC will vote on this recommendation at its February 27, 2019 meeting.
A Regional TOD Grant Partnership:
CATS in partnership with Charlotte Planning, Design + Development Department, City of Gastonia, City of Belmont, Town of Matthews, Town of Stallings, and Town of Indian Trail were awarded a $920,000 planning grant for TOD planning from the Federal Transit Administration.
Specific outcomes of this work will include
- Determining future land use around stations
- Identifying supporting infrastructure
- Advance actions for corridor preservation and affordable housing
- Identification of innovative economic development and financing strategies