CHARLOTTE, N.C (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Charlotte City Council approved a $5 million investment in the proposed northern commuter rail line Monday night.

The city has contracted with HDR Engineering for planning and design services related to the proposed LYNX Red Line. The line would connect uptown north to Mooresville, but along a stretch of rail to which they don’t yet have access.

Councilman Tariq Bokhari (District 6) was the only member to oppose the motion at the Sept. 11 regular council meeting. 

According to the city and Charlotte Area Transit System, this phase will focus on public outreach, updating the grade crossings and track design, examining options for a new vehicle maintenance facility, reevaluating vehicle technologies and service levels, confirming station locations and analyzing new alignment options into Uptown. 

There have been several changes in the corridor since the original design was completed in 2009. And Norfolk Southern hasn’t budged on allowing CATS to use its “O:” line right of way. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has since been presented as an medium-term alternative for the corridor.  

The BRT route would utilize the Interstate 77 Express Lanes, with stops just off exits in north Charlotte and in the Lake Norman towns.

Future requests for City Council approval of contract amendments to complete the design of the Red Line project are anticipated. 

City hires local companies for EV charging

City Manager Marcus Jones has selected two local companies to provide electric vehicle chargers for city vehicles and the public. 

Huntersville company Atom Power and Charlotte-based JF Petroleum Group will provide, implement, and maintain EV chargers and related services for an initial term of three years. The contracts may be renewed for up to two one-year terms with possible price adjustments. 

The initiative is part of the city’s Strategic Energy Action Plan adopted in 2018. Its goal is to have the city fleet and facilities fueled by 100 percent zero-carbon sources. While most EV chargers will be for fleet charging, there is also a need for publicly available EV chargers. 

Annual expenditures are estimated to be $850,000.