• Metropolitan Transit Commission approves millions to advance Silver Line

    By: Stephanie Tinoco , Gina Esposito

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Officials are calling it the biggest, most complicated project Charlotte has ever undertaken -- a light rail from Matthews to Charlotte and beyond, even out to Belmont. 

    CATS said it wants to move the Silver Line into design and environmental processes, to be on step closer to completion by the 2030 goal. 

    [ALSO READ: How will a new rail line run from Matthews through uptown Charlotte?]

    Documents show CATS has allocated enough funds to complete 15 percent of the design by 2021, but officials said they will need additional funding to keep things on track. 

    Officials said they will need $60 million in the first three years and likely, millions more later on. 

    They have called the Silver Line the largest and most complicated project that the Metropolitan Transit Commission and the City of Charlotte have ever undertaken. 

    It will go from the Matthews area through uptown Charlotte and west to the airport and into Gaston County. 

    Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transit Commission approved the 2020 Fiscal Year operating budget, which includes additional funding to advance the Silver Line.

    The official route was authorized by the commission in February.

    "To advance into a level of design where we can start to really begin to coordinate with other transportation projects that are going on in the region," John Lewis, CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System said. 

    [ALSO READ: Updated plan to extend light rail to surrounding areas approved]

    Also, the town of Indian Trail said they want to be included in the project. They are asking for the Silver Line to be extended eastward into Union County for a station there. 

    No formal decision has been made on that addition. 

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