Tuesday, August 21, 2018
CATS Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence addresses a packed auditorium on planning for light rail to the airport and to Gaston County.
Crowd estimated at close to 200 for light rail presentation
An enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd estimated at close to 200 turned out for the first public meeting in Gaston County on a light rail line along Wilkinson Boulevard that could connect the county to the airport, Uptown Charlotte and to present and future lines to the north, south and east. State, county and municipal elected officials attended along with many local business and community leaders.
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence made a presentation in the packed auditorium at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont on Aug. 21, 2018, noting that the Gaston County meeting had drawn a bigger audience than any of the previous meetings in Charlotte.
Lawrence emphasized that consideration of the West Corridor line is in its early planning phase, and the purpose of the meetings is to gather public comment before completing the initial planning and moving on to design, funding and other considerations.
He noted that funding having been secured to replace the Wilkinson Boulevard bridge in the next few years make this the ideal time to develop future light rail plans that can be incorporated into the bridge design.
Many questions and comments from the audience demonstrated a high level of support for the service, tempered by an understanding it will be years before a light rail system can be built to the airport and across the Catawba River into Gaston County.
Those unable to attend the meeting can get more information and complete an online survey at: www.charlottenc.gov/cats/transit-planning/west-corridor