Light rail proposal to connect uptown Charlotte and Matthews

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It’s been a long time coming. For the first time ever, the light rail connecting uptown Charlotte and Matthews could become a reality.

Imagine being able to avoid Independence traffic on your way to and from work or while running errands. That dream could come true. Light rail riders like the idea.

"It's fine by me. I don't have to go that far, but I like the light rail. It's faster than the bus," Arkrether  Page, a light rail rider, said. 

"I think it's a great idea in terms of the environment and saving any pollution coming from cars," Alex Simpson, who uses the light rail, said. 

"I think it's a good thing. It's a good area. There's a lot of things down there that people need to access," said Jaylen Byers, another light rail rider.

According to the proposal, the light rail would start around CPCC on Central where I-277 and Independence Blvd split.13 miles later, it would end up at the Levine CPCC campus in Matthews.

"It will include 13 stations, 8-10 park and rides. Possibility of 7-10 miles of rail trail connecting Cross Charlotte Trail to McAlpine Creek," Jason Lawrence with CATS said. 

Right now, the plan is in its infancy stage. There's no funding for it yet and it could be 10 to 13 years before we even see construction.

"It's not in the median of Independence Boulevard. It had been in the past. We will recommend it running alongside Independence Boulevard over to Monroe Road, serving Matthews, running just short of the union county line," Lawrence said. 

Charlotte Area Transit System will recommend the plan to the Metropolitan Transit Commission on September 28. The board will vote on it October 26. You can get involved by signing up to speak during the public forum right before the vote.