Hartgen said he thinks ridership will drop further because uptown layoffs are only starting, and that the drop in ridership should spur CATS to consider halting its ambitious plans to build more rapid transit. “We should be saving for our operating budget,” Hartgen said.Ridership seems to be doing ok to me.
The Lynx Blue Line averaged 15,121 weekday trips in April – surprisingly high ridership given the severe recession. Charlotte's light-rail line had been averaging roughly 14,000 trips for much of the year, and the Charlotte Area Transit System expected it to decline because fewer people are working. But the Lynx carried 380,186 passengers for April, up more than 10 percent over the same time a year ago.That's good, because expansion is going on as planned, they'll just have to find more funding.
On a seven-to-four party-line vote City Council Wednesday kept the eight million dollars set aside in the budget for engineering work on the streetcar, which Councilman Andy Dulin wanted to strip from the project. Dulin wanted to use the money on road resurfacing. Others who voted for Dulin's proposal did so because they said there's no concrete plan to fund construction.We've got to think long term and invest in the future. I'm glad to see Charlotte continues to look ahead, even amidst tough economic times.