CATS announces opening date of LYNX Blue Line Extension

CATS announces opening date of LYNX Blue Line Extension

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Area Transit System announced Monday that people can start riding the LYNX Blue Line Extension on March 16.

There will be some test runs beginning the week of Jan. 21. During this testing, CATS will simulate revenue service from I-485 Station to the UNC Charlotte Main Station. Light rail vehicles will stop at all stations and will mimic passenger boarding and deboarding with active crossing signals.

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CATS has completed the majority of the required tests to begin pre-revenue service. This includes the testing of tracks, the overhead catenary system, and communications and signal systems.  Many safety certifications are built into these component tests.

Construction on the LYNX Blue Line Extension began in 2014 and has dealt with delays and additional funding requests.

CATS officials announced in February the $1.6 billion Blue Line Extension would be delayed because of construction problems.

In July, Channel 9 dug through records and found that concrete cracking problems impacted 12 percent of the rail ties on the new line. CATS officials said the damaged ties have since been replaced.

In November, Charlotte City Council approved an extra $15.3 million taxpayer dollars for the project.

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