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CATS to give update on future Independence Boulevard transit services

Workshops are planned to discuss public transit being considered for Independence Boulevard. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Workshops are planned to discuss public transit being considered for Independence Boulevard. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Get an update on planning for future transit services on Independence Boulevard during four public workshops scheduled for April 5-7.

Charlotte Area Transit System’s update focuses on the Lynx Silver Line/Southeast Corridor transit study, which is in progress.

The corridor study is expected to provide an “interim bus transit strategy” that utilizes managed toll lanes that are being planned for Independence Boulevard by N.C. Department of Transportation.

“Buses would be more of a short-term goal and rail would be a long-term goal,” said Juliann Sheldon, a spokeswoman for CATS.

A plan for buses or light rail would have to be presented to the Metropolitan Transit Commission, Sheldon said.

The state plans to convert the existing busway on Independence into a reversible toll lane. The lane would run from Interstate 277 to Albemarle Road. For the 2-mile segment from Albemarle Road to Conference Drive, the state plans to have one toll lane in each direction.

Like the managed toll lanes planned for I-77 in north Mecklenburg, the Independence Boulevard toll lanes would use variable pricing in an effort to maintain a speed of 45 mph, according to N.C. Department of Transportation, which is planning the toll lanes.

If more people want to use the lanes, the price of the high-occupancy toll lanes – or HOT lanes – would increase. The lanes would be built as part of a widening project that’s currently underway on U.S. 74.

Light rail is not currently being discussed for the center lanes on Independence, Sheldon said. Property would have to be acquired to build light rail service in the southeast corridor. Three to four options for accomplishing that are expected to be presented at the workshops, Sheldon said.

Those who attend the workshops can offer feedback on the study.

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

Lynx Silver Line/Southeast Corridor meetings

▪ April 5, 6-7:30 p.m., Matthews Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station St., Matthews.

▪ April 6, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Main Library, 310 N. Tryon St.

▪ April 6, 6-7:30 p.m., McClintock Middle School, 1925 Rama Road.

▪ April 7, 6-7:30 p.m., Midwood International House, 1817 Central Ave.

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