Articles about Transportation

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What does the future hold for Charlotte's airport?
   February 21, 2022
Ely Portillo

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the busiest hubs in the world, despite the city of Charlotte's modest size. That disproportionate air service is usually cited as one of the city's biggest economic advantages, making the airport one of our most important economic engines. 

But COVID-19 impacted the air travel industry in a profound way, with Charlotte Douglas in the...

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Charlotte transit system reckoning with pandemic struggles and 'structural weakness'
   February 14, 2022
Ely Portillo

After almost two years of pandemic-related challenges, the Charlotte Area Transit System is trying to balance the need to restore service and lure back riders with the need to grow and meet the challenges of a growing region. 

And CATS chief executive John Lewis has a simple message: Charlotte’s transit...

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Golf cart market picks up speed as transportation alternative in Charlotte region
   February 11, 2022

Cristina Bolling

This story was originally published in Transit Time, a newsletter jointly produced by...

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When it comes to transit, everyone wants ‘regionalism.’ But no one’s quite sure how to get there.
   February 2, 2022
Ely Portillo

There’s consensus in the new crop of local transportation plans: Whether we’re talking about trains, buses or roads, we’ll have to cross county borders and state lines to fund and operate an effective transit system. 

But in the traditionally siloed Charlotte region, how do we actually create some kind of regional entity — and who will get to control the purse strings and make...

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Transit Time: A Plan B for Charlotte's transit expansion
   January 27, 2022

Steve Harrison, WFAE

Charlotte’s proposed $13.5 billion Transformation Mobility Network is in limbo.

City staff and council members seem paralyzed about when to approach Raleigh — and with what message.

Congestion relief? Economic development? Economic mobility?

There is, however, another way.

The city can just build the plan itself, or more realistically build part of the...

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More drive-thrus near the light rail? City decisions worry advocates
   January 19, 2022
Ely Portillo

Charlotte City Council on Tuesday approved two auto-centric developments in transit-oriented zones along the Blue Line light rail, a move some advocates fear will set a bad precedent as the city tries to move away from its dominant car culture. 

The developments — a Fifth Third Bank on Woodlawn Road with a drive-thru and a Chick-fil-A on South Boulevard near Interstate 485 — both won...

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Finally, biking in uptown without fear
   January 13, 2022
Ely Portillo

Pedaling through uptown last week alongside cars and pedestrians, I felt something that I’ve rarely felt before on city streets: Relaxed. 

That’s because I was riding not in lanes of traffic or in a tiny, painted “bike lane,” but in a full-sized, two-way, striped and painted lane for bicycles, separated from cars by a concrete...

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Podcast: How parking can strangle a city, and what to do about it
   January 5, 2022
Ely Portillo

Abundant, convenient, cheap — or even free — parking, right where you want it, so you can drive up to your destination and find a space right by the door.

Sounds great, right? Maybe so — unless that abundant parking is killing your city. Donald Shoup is a distinguished research professor at UCLA in the department of urban planning. His work has...

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A transit tax vote (maybe). Gaping budget holes. Recovering ridership? Key transit trends to watch in 2022
   December 16, 2021
Ely Portillo

With 2021 fading into the blessed rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look ahead at what transit controversies, developments and questions are looming further down the track in 2022. 

The past year was, once again, wracked by the pandemic and uncertainty about how — even whether — Charlotte can fund the infrastructure to move people from Point A to Point B as the city grows. But it...

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Charlotte leaders start wrestling with state transportation budget shortfall
   December 8, 2021
Ely Portillo

Charlotte leaders say they won’t know the full impact of a nearly $12 billion funding shortfall for state road improvements until sometime next year, but a pair of projects in University City give a hint on what the funding gap might look like in concrete terms.

Think delays for needed roads, bridges and interchanges, plus more local money to fill the hole left by the N.C. Department...

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