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South Enders: Would you rather Uber or take the light rail?

jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Chris Walker, who lives at the Silos South End apartment complex, is one of thousands of people drawn to living within a stone’s throw of the Lynx Blue Line.

Walker likes being close to the light-rail line, but he doesn’t actually use it all that much.

“I have lived here a year and a half, and I have taken the train twice,” said Walker, whose apartment is less than a quarter-mile from the New Bern light-rail station at the southern-most part of South End. “We Uber instead. For $5, you can get uptown. It’s easy.”

The above excerpt comes from Steve Harrison’s report in the Charlotte Observer looking at light rail and Uber usage in the booming South End neighborhood.

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Here are the numbers:

  • CATS bus and light rail ridership has declined much of the past year, down 4.3 percent on all CATS services in the first nine months of the fiscal year compared to the same period a year earlier.
  • Over the past seven years, ridership at the four LYNX stations in South End increased from 1,595 average weekday boardings in March 2009 to 2,057 boardings in March 2016 — a 29 percent increase.
  • But that lags behind the increase in residents in South End. Over the same period, the number of residents has increased from 3,400 to 8,000 —  a 135 percent increase.
  • Raj Naik, general manager of Uber North Carolina, said the service has seen a significant increase in requests from South End, but no greater than other parts of the city. (Yeah, we know “significant increase” isn’t actually a number.)

In the Observer article, two other South End residents say they prefer Uber to the train.

So is this a thing? Would most South Enders rather Uber instead of taking the train? We’re asking you, our smart, saavy and scintillating C5ers. If you live in South End, or any place that the light rail is — or will soon be — a legitimate transportation option, please answer our poll below.

If you live near the light rail line and need to get to uptown, which mode of transportation would you rather take?

  • Lynx Blue Line light rail (63%, 172 Votes)
  • Uber (or any ride-share service) (37%, 101 Votes)

Total Voters: 273

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Photos: Charlotte Observer file

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