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Charlotte’s ambitious light rail ‘Big Bang’

Three new extensions to the LYNX light rail system are being considered for concurrent development by the Charlotte Area Transit System (USA) – to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Matthews and Iredell County.

Three new extensions to the LYNX light rail system are being considered for concurrent development by the Charlotte Area Transit System (USA) – to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Matthews and Iredell County.

The ambitious plans have been announced by new CEO John Lewis and include a new LRT corridor through the northern towns, with the long-planned Red line commuter rail along existing tracks instead being abandoned.

The USD6bn project has been dubbed ‘the Big Bang’, despite the scheme being in its infancy, simply based on its potential to be transformative to districts affected severely by the recession. Previous plans have included streetcars and an express bus service, but the latest plans are solely light rail-based.

Only in the early stages of development, funding for the new lines is yet to be agreed – estimates ring around USD2bn for each corridor, although various local and national sources of funding have been suggested.

Further details are due to announced in the coming months.