Management & Operations

Charlotte streetcar projected to cost more than bus, light rail

Posted on September 17, 2014

City of Charlotte
City of Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  As the costs of Charlotte's 4-mile streetcar line are coming into focus, an analysis shows that the streetcar will likely be more expensive to operate than city buses and the Lynx Blue Line, the Charlotte Observer reported.

RELATED: L.A. streetcar shaves $55 million off cost estimate

To carry a passenger a mile on the streetcar, the Charlotte Area Transit System projects it will cost $1.58 in 2019, when the second phase of the project would open. For comparison, in 2012, it cost CATS 77 cents to move a bus passenger one mile. A Lynx Blue Line passenger’s 1-mile trip was 68 cents, according to a federal database.

Moving people and cutting costs aren’t the only goals of the streetcar, now known as the Gold Line. Proponents have said it will spark the same kind of economic development that has been seen along the light-rail line in South End, where hundreds of new apartments have been built, the Observer reported.

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