Charlotte, feds sign deal to extend light rail

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials in Charlotte have signed a deal with the Federal Transit Administration that commits the federal government to pay for half of the construction costs for a $1.16 billion light-rail extension.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the contract, known as a Full Funding Grant Agreement, means the FTA will spend $580 million on the line. The city of Charlotte and the Charlotte Area Transit System will spend $250 million and the N.C. Department of Transportation will spend $299 million.

FTA administrator Peter Rogoff said Charlotte’s existing line is “blowing the roof off of ridership.”

The new, 9.2-mile extension could open in 2017. It will connect downtown to UNC-Charlotte, adding 11 new stations. Four stations will have park-and-ride lots.

Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2013.
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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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