Posted by: Todd Long | September 12, 2008

CATS Light Rail-Purple Line 2030 year plan

Tonight was the Davidson Town Hall meeting open to the public concerning the CAT Purple Line which is set to service Charlotte through Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and end at Mt. Mourne in Mooresville.

A presentation followed by a question and answer session were hosted by CATS representatives.  A couple of data points opened the meeting. 

I-77 registers 83,000 vehicles per day

This number is expected to double by 2030

I-77 has 1000 traffic accidents per year

East of Hwy 115 is the most undeveloped section of Northern Mecklenburg County so more development is coming

10,000 current units are planned around the Purple lines proposed 10 stations

the Purple Line, the line to follow I-77, has been slated as the next expansion of the ever more popular Charlotte light rail system.  The extension of the blue line North East is also being considered at this time.  The North East line will require acquiring right aways and building train tracks.  The North Line will use the current rail right aways and will include updates to the tracks and crossings.  A much less expensive project over all.  In order for the Purple Line to cross the Iredell County line into Mt. Mourne it must have financial help from the town of Mooresville and Iredell County because the 1/2 cent sales tax implemented to fund the light rail transit system was only in Mecklenburg county and therefore can only be use in that county.  This final destination for this line being Mt. Mourne makes a lot of sense due to its proximity to Lowes Corporate Headquarter in Mooresville.  We were told a few figures on Lowes Corporate that seemed a bit staggering.  There are approximately 4000 employees expected to be working on the Lowes Campus by Purple Line completion around 2012-2014.  The full build out of Lowes Corporate center is slated to house 12,000 employees which would be more employees than what currently work with Bank of America in downtown Charlotte!  This is an amazing projection and shows how proud we should be to have a fortune 40 company (Lowes) in the Town of Mooresville.

Personally I really like the idea of being able to get on a train in Mooresville and get off in downtown Charlotte, especially for events such as a Carolina Panthers Football game or baseball game at the upcoming new stadium.

The great news about a light rails system vs a commuter bus is the line will be functional for commuter traffic heading North to Lowes and the South to Charlotte.  The projection ridership for the Purple Line is at 4,611 per day which is equivalent to a full I-77 lane of traffic each day.  Mooresville to Charlotte is expected to be a 50 minute commute on one of the 3 bi-level coaches.

CATS hopes to have 10% design completion by spring of 2009 with cost estimates for the towns and federal funding submission. 



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