Huntersville leaders reject study for light rail

by: Joe Bruno Updated:

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Huntersville leaders are opposed to spending more than $2 million to study alternative lines for light rail to Lake Norman.

Commissioners voted unanimously on a resolution in opposition to the request.

CATS wants to spend $2.3 million on a study to find a way to expand light rail service to the airport, Lake Norman and Matthews at the same time.

For years, CATS has tried to bring rail service to Lake Norman through the Red Line by using the existing rail tracks. Norfolk Southern refuses to let this happen.

Town leaders said people have already been paying a transit tax for too long and haven’t seen any results.

They would rather see the funding go to immediate public transportation improvements.

Huntersville leaders called this plan for light rail a long shot.

“This is clearly something that is just not feasible and not going to happen," Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla said. “It basically is lining the pocketbooks of engineers in Charlotte at the expense of taxpayers and bus riders here."

PAST ARTICLE: Huntersville mayor opposed to CATS' plan to spend millions of tax dollars

Local leaders are hoping other Lake Norman towns join in opposition.

Many Cornelius commissioners are also opposed to the plan and will likely hold more discussions on it in the coming weeks.

Huntersville leaders said that aside from the existing rail, there aren't any options to bring light rail to the area without disrupting millions of dollars worth of projects.

Additionally, the light rail on I-77 is not an option because of terms of the toll lane contract.

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