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December 15, 2016 Meeting

Topic: CATS Silver Line Planning Study/Update

On November 16, 2016 the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) updated the 2030 Transit System Plan by approving the LYNX Silver Line Light Rail Staff Recommendation. The journey to that approval stretchesback nearly 20 years. Twice the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) recommended Bus Rapid Transit in the median of Independence Blvd in 2002 and 2006 as the rapid transit mode for Southeast Mecklenburg County. With public support not strong for that transit alternative, CATS was directed by the MTC to reevaluate for light rail at each instance. Since 2006, conditions and attitudes changed regarding the Independence Blvd Corridor. The land use vision became more auto oriented. Side roadways such as Central Ave and Monroe Rd were seen as having more potential for transit oriented uses. The Independence Blvd median was determined to be best used as an express lane facility.  With that change in direction the MTC directed CATS to determine the appropriate rail vision for the corridor. In February 2015 CATS began the Southeast Corridor Transit Study.  As the study progressed it was evident that the community wanted high quality transit service with transit oriented development at stations but they also desired the space in between the stations to have amenities such as rail trails and parks. With this information CATS will incorporate a long term vision for the LYNX Silver Line that encompasses not just a rail facility but an overall mobility vision that connects and strengthens communities with an integrated multi modal approach.

Speaker: Jason Lawrence, CATS Project Manager

In 2000, Jason Lawrence joined the Charlotte Area Transit System and for the past 16 years has been a lead Transportation Planner for transit corridors in the 2030 Transit System Plan. Jason has performed bus service planning, conducted population/ridership forecasting, and implemented the Sprinter Airport Enhanced Bus service.  Jason was a member of the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) Light Rail Team where he authored and designed the LYNX BLE Bus/Rail integration plan. Jason has also integrated his Geographic Information Systems knowledge into transit service planning, public outreach strategies, and demographic analysis. Currently Jason is project manager for the LYNX Silver Line/Southeast Corridor Transit Study. That study will determine the long range mobility vision for Southeast Mecklenburg County.   Jason Lawrence has a Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.