Charlotte Area Transit System receives DOT loan

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Thursday that it has loaned the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) $180 million to build the new LYNX Blue Line light rail in the North Carolina city. 

The loan is part of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). It will be used only to support the current expansion project of the light rail system that runs from the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) campus to Center City Charlotte.

“This project is already catalyzing economic growth and opportunity by connecting the city’s financial, high tech and cultural centers with the thriving UNCC campus, and giving commuters an alternative to sitting in traffic on I-85 and U.S. 29,” Anthony Foxx, US secretary of Transportation, said. “The project also connects and will help revitalize many historically underserved neighborhoods. The Blue Line extension is an important piece of the overall transit system that Charlotte needs in order to thrive in the 21st century.”

Construction on the new rail line will generate an estimated 7,600 new jobs. More than 18,900  people are expected to use the light rail every weekday.

“The LYNX Blue Line extension is critical to the city of Charlotte,” Lana Hurdle, DOT deputy assistant secretary for Budget and Programs, said. “The TIFIA loan reduces financing costs to ensure that CATS can complete this project and have a more robust capital plan going forward.”

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