End of the Lion

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This is the 7th street station of Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) light rail service called Lynx.   This is the Northern end of the system.   Studies are underway to determine the feasibility of extending the system further North, with the goal of interconnecting with New Jersey Transit.   I’m not lion about that.  Charlotte isn’t called the New New York for nothing.

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28 Responses to End of the Lion

  1. briand75 says:

    Art – what’s the usage like? In New York, all of the trains are viable with tons of passengers commuting every day. The fact that Amtrak hemorrhages money like an open carotid notwithstanding, it is also a functional part of NYC transit.

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      They are not viable, briand75- riders pay only a fraction of the operational cost, and there is no return on the investment of capital.

    • Art Stone says:

      This was my first ride. I started at the Southern most station, got off at the main downtown station, reboarded heading to the North end, then rode back to the South End. I didn’t decide to do this until 4 PM

      Electric streetcar lines starting being built 20 years before automobiles arrived for the masses. Cable car systems predated that. The motivation for many of those streetcar systems were real estate development. Until then, where you could live and work was limited by how far you could walk or ride a horse. So a developer would buy a huge tract of land, then build a streetcar line and throw up houses in the newly opened area.

      The South end of the line is only a few miles from the SC border. Parking at all stations is free – the fare is $2 each way. So the main target audience is people who live in SC but work in downtown. The $4 is less than the cost of parking downtown (but not a lot less – this isn’t Chicago). I had no trouble finding a parking spot in the lot.

      When summer comes, the Carowinds Amusement Park is only a short distance away. “trolley parks” was another common motivation. A streetcar (or bus) system that mostly carries commuters is difficult to run. Drivers don’t want to work split shifts and you don’t need the full capacity all day. Having entertainment venues helps to build off-peak traffic.

  2. kevydm says:

    That’d be GREAT!! Save a lot of driving for me, from here to NJ. My parents are only a couple blocks from NJ transit. Only thing, would have to weigh if it would be cost efficient; gas v. train fare. Bad enough its about $25 round trip into NYC every day!

  3. prboylan says:

    Several years ago I rode the Lynx into downtown Charlotte (Duke Energy HQ) from my hotel somewhere south of town during the week I was there. I found it to be very pleasant, convenient, and civilized compared to MARTA (the Atlanta system). I came to the conclusion that community culture is more important than technology in determining whether mass transit is successful. The MARTA rail system was super nice when it was first started in the early 80s, but when city government started catering to the welfare class instead of business commuters it started losing money and has never really recovered since.

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      The number of votes you get should be proportional to the amount of taxes you pay. When the country was founded, when it was unconstitutional to tax income, you had to own some land and presumably pay some taxes to have a vote.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        What not let children vote too….. say a new requirement that you have to be under 18 to vote for the school board members and the school board budget.

        Why is it any different for others that live off the taxpayer?

        • Nidster says:

          CC, you are making too much sense, you ask way too many questions, and are just making the points that the ole scoundrel, and former talk show host, Neil Bortz used to ask. Of course that was decades ago and prior to the demise of AM/FM talk radio. Get with the times or risk being run-over by the (fill-in-the-blank-here).

    • Art Stone says:

      It’s low capacity and it’s relatively new. The perpetual unsolvable problem with rail transportation is as a city grows up around it, people will create pressure to add new stations. The more stations, the more lost time and less advantage to the system.

      While the high speed corridor will increase speeds to 110 mph, the average speed will be only 85 mph and with stops and the fact the existing route was built just after the Civil War, the train speed will be almost as fast as driving in your car.

      I looked briefly at riding the train from Chicago to Charlotte. A one hour plane flight was 2 days by train, requiring a hotel stay in New York, Washington DC or Philadelphia – or arriving at Charlotte in a bad neighborhood at 2:30 AM [if the trains are on time]

      As much as it pains me to say it, long distance rail is dead. Put a fork in it. If you don’t want to fly, take Megabus.

      • Nidster says:

        I have been wanting to take a train ride through the Rockies, but never seem to have the time or money. I dropped my oldest son off in a little Montana town, forgot its name, when he caught Amtrack heading west over to San Francisco. The trip through the Rockies and over into Idaho was during daylight hours. He told us it was a real nice trip.

  4. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    When will they retrofit these new stations to put in the new TSA checkpoints?

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