Adding up impact of CATS’ Gold Line

(by Erik Spanberg, Charlotte Business Journal)

"Charlotte’s streetcar system hit the road a year ago and, so far, is ahead of projections in every way...The initial 1.5-mile segment running from Elizabeth to uptown that started running last July is seeing daily average weekday ridership of 1,601. That is 78% above transit system projections of 900 daily riders for what is called the CityLynx Gold Line...

Sustain Charlotte, a transit and sustainable growth advocacy group, urges people to look at the big-picture impact of the streetcar.

'While the economic impacts are extremely important, we believe the social and environmental benefits are of equal importance, especially as we witness undeniable growing social unrest and environmental disasters due to climate change,” said Shannon Binns, Sustain Charlotte executive director. “We can no longer afford to only evaluate our choices in terms of the easy to monetize costs and benefits. We must also place a value on the social and environmental impacts of our choices, which ultimately have significant economic impacts as well.'"

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