LYNX Blue Line celebrates first anniversary
Posted on 27 Nov 2008 by James Willamor
Monday, November 24th, marked the one year anniversary of the opening of Charlotte’s LYNX Blue Line. LYNX collected its first weekday fare on November 26th, 2007. The 9.6 mile light rail line has exceeded projections for first year ridership. CATS projected an average of 9,100 riders each weekday, increasing to 18,100 weekday riders by 2025. Average weekday ridership for 2008 has been approximately 16,000; nearly 2 million more riders than expected.
Big events have contributed to high ridership, including the CIAA, ACC, and NCAA basketball tournaments. The largest event in terms of ridership was NASCAR Speed Street, with 95,000 riders over two and a half days.
The fare was increased from $1.30 to $1.50 in early October, but it doesn’t appear to have impacted ridership. Fifty-four parking spaces were added at the I-485 station last week, and four additional light rail vehicles are on order.
An ongoing engineering study is examining the planned Blue Line northeast extension which will connect uptown with NoDa, UNCC, and I-485. Future improvements the current line include expanding stations to handle three-car trains.
If you like, check out photos CLT Blog took of the LYNX when it first opened on Flickr.