Within the next few years, UNC Charlotte will have access to a whole new level of connectivity to Center City Charlotte and points south, when light rail comes to campus. Light rail may be on campus as soon as 2017.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), UNC Charlotte and state and local leaders gathered in April for a ceremony to "stake their claim" to the State Full Funding Grant Agreement for the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Extension Project.
The agreement provides 25 percent of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) from Center City to the UNC Charlotte campus. The support also prepares the system to receive a full funding grant agreement of 50 percent of the project costs from the Federal Transit Administration later this year.
Chancellor Philip L. Dubois stated, "The Blue Line Extension to the UNC Charlotte campus is another critical milestone in enhancing the University’s connectivity to Center City Charlotte. It will provide the community with greater access to the University’s many arts, cultural and athletic events, including 49ers football. The extension also will contribute tremendously to economic development by linking the state’s urban research University and two of the region’s largest centers of economic activity – Center City and University City."
The 9.4-mile BLE extension would run from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus and include 11 light rail stations and four parking facilities. A stop near the corner of South Tryon Street (U.S. 29) and J.W. Clay Blvd. and another stop near Miltimore Hall will serve the campus. Construction of the $1.16 billion project is scheduled to begin in fall 2013 with operational service expected in 2017.