Charlotte, N.C., to Temporarily Stop Streetcar Service

The city has opted to stop running its streetcar for eighteen months while three crews expand the track another two and a half miles. Connector buses will replace the Gold Line streetcar, according to officials.

by Joe Marusak, The Charlotte Observer / May 15, 2019
Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

(TNS) — The streetcar in Charlotte, N.C., will close for 18 months beginning June 3 so crews can finish extending the line another 2.5 miles, Charlotte Area Transit System officials said Tuesday.

CityLynx connector buses will replace the Gold Line streetcar, CATS officials posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Streetcar service must close so workers can “raise the existing stop platforms for level boarding with the new, modern streetcars and upgrade power on the current Gold Line,” CATS officials posted.

CityLynx connector buses will run on the same schedule as the streetcars — every 15 minutes daily until 7 p.m., and every 20 minutes after 7 p.m., officials said.

Because riding the streetcar is free, passengers boarding at bus stops in the Gold Line service also will ride for free, CATS officials posted.

The streetcar line extension will extend service 2.5 miles on the east and west ends of the line, creating a 4-mile system, according to CATS.

Streetcar service will extend 2 miles west, from the Charlotte Transportation Center in uptown to French Street, and east a half-mile along Hawthorne Lane from Novant Presbyterian Hospital to Sunnyside Avenue.

The extension will add 11 stops to the line and Siemens modern streetcars with hybrid technology, according to an online summary on charlottenc.gov.

The line extension through uptown Charlotte will be delayed until early 2021, in part because of the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte, John Lewis, chief executive of CATS, told the Charlotte City Council on April 1, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

City Manager Marcus Jones said the line has had other problems as well, including the steel girders for a bridge over Hawthorne Street that turned out to be the wrong size, the Observer reported.

The city and the federal government are each paying half the $150 million cost for the extension.

©2019 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.