Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) executives are considering local and private sources for funding if competition for federal dollars edges out the city’s plans for new rail corridors, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.
With competition from other cities intensifying, as public and civic leaders call for sustainable development, the federal criteria for funding has gotten stricter in recent years, making the application process increasingly difficult.
Bank of America confirms preliminary discussions with the city about structuring a financing arrangement that would not include federal funding. Federal mass transit funds cover half of the $427 million capital cost for the south corridor line that is currently under construction, with the state paying slightly more than 25% and a voter-approved half-cent sales tax covering the rest.
CATS has pledged to build a $3 billion rail, streetcar and rapid-bus system over the next decade, but failure to land federal funds would slow progress unless other sources of funding are found.