City News

Feds to give $18 million to light rail – or not

The Charlotte Area Transit System found out last week about an $18 million “gift” that could help fund the construction of the Northeast Corridor light-rail extension.

Well, maybe.

A CATS news release stated that U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole told CATS officials that the 2009 Senate Transportation Appropriations legislation has $18 million set aside for the Northeast Corridor – about $8 million more than CATS requested.

The legislation, though, isn't expected to be enacted until after November's presidential election.

Though the amount earmarked could change, CATS CEO Keith Parker called it a “step in the right direction.”

CATS has a few options for the location of the line and recently held two public meetings to get input from citizens on where it should connect with North Tryon Street.

If completed, the $741 million light-rail extension would provide service from Pineville to north of UNC Charlotte.

CATS still faces many funding and logistical questions, such as where to put rail stations.

One thing is for sure: CATS found out that it can access $2.6 million that the Senate appropriated last year.

Booty alert

Cyclists pedaling for charity will take over some of the streets surrounding Queens University of Charlotte for 24 Hours of Booty on Friday and Saturday (July 25-26).

Around 1,200 participants are scheduled to ride the loop, consisting of Queens Road, Selwyn Avenue, Queens Road West, Granville Road and Hopedale Avenue.

Watch for delays (and cyclists) from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday in that section of Myers Park.