Residential Realtors Serving Charlotte, NC

Let us provide property management services for your Charlotte, NC home.
Proudly serving owners of premier properties since 1999.

New light rail mega-line from Belmont to Matthews

New light rail mega-line from Belmont to Matthews

Charlotte is now officially on track to build a new light rail line between Matthews, Uptown and the town of Belmont in Gaston County by 2030, but there are still a few major moving parts to complete for the new line to become a reality.

Last week, the Metropolitan Transit Commission signed off on a 25-mile route known as the Silver Line that would bring commuters in from the east and west — and out to the airport.

“We are at the very beginning,” CATS CEO John Lewis told the Agenda. “We’ve got to be smart on how we move this project forward.

What route is up for discussion?

The city’s transit commission unanimously voted to approve a route that would bring light rail up Independence Boulevard into Uptown, connecting to the Blue Line at North End before heading west along Wilkinson Boulevard to the airport and then out to Belmont in Gaston County.

Charlotte considered connecting the east and west through a tunnel under Uptown, however, this option didn’t make the final cut because it would cost more than $1 billion and not provide any more development opportunities. By connecting at North End, the future Silver Line could spark a lot more investment and housing, and boost property values.

What happens next? How does light rail get approved in Charlotte?

Step 1: Preliminary engineering

Now that a route has been settled on, CATS can get to work doing the preliminary design and engineering work.

It will likely take 18 months to two years to get through this work and give the city an idea of exactly how much the full line will cost.

This number will be in the billions.

Step 2: Lining up the money

Charlotte’s transit projects are funded by a combination of tax dollars from the federal, state and local level. The Blue Line was paid for with 50% federal dollars, 25% state dollars and 25% local dollars.

Potentially as early as 2020, Charlotte voters will likely be asked to approve an additional sales tax to expand the light rail system. If all goes to plan, Charlotte will have a better shot at landing the federal grants needed to pull off a project of this magnitude.

Step 3: Construction

Once the money is lined up, Charlotte can start awarding contracts and laying track. This project can take 7-10 years if everything goes right, placing final completion of the line potentially around 2030.

This new light rail route is likely to bring massive growth to both commercial and real estate development in and around the areas close to the new route.