Silver Line Project

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has developed a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) and implementation strategy for the Silver Line, which have been adopted by CATS’ policy board, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC). Initially, CATS intends to progress design and environmental review for Phase A of the Silver Line, and this first phase is considered the Silver Line Project (the Project).     

The proposed Project is an approximately 15-mile light rail transit alternative on new location from Center City Charlotte to the Town of Matthews, in Mecklenburg County. The western terminus would be at either the Charlotte Gateway Station (CGS) or Morehead station, and the eastern terminus would be at the Central Piedmont Community College Levine Campus (CPCC Levine). The Project would include 17-18 stations, with park-and-ride facilities proposed at five stations. Where feasible, the Project would include a multi-use path adjacent to the light rail infrastructure to connect stations with housing, employment, and other community services and amenities. Additionally, the Project would require a vehicle maintenance facility, or combination of facilities, with potential site(s) at the existing North Yard, Industrial Drive, and CPCC Levine. 

The light rail would operate in dedicated right-of-way beside the Norfolk Southern railroad right-of-way and 11th Street in Center City Charlotte. It would then parallel East Independence Boulevard before turning southeast near Village Lake Drive to parallel Monroe Road. From there, it would enter downtown Matthews on West Matthews Street, and follow Matthews-Mint Hill Road before turning south across I-485 to end at CPCC Levine. A non-revenue track connection would be located near the crossing of the Silver Line and the Blue Line around 11th Street, allowing connectivity between the lines.  

Silver line Project Vicinity map from morehead to CPCC levine

Project Life Cycle

The project life cycle contains previous planning, NEPA process, project development and engineering, construction and the service begins

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental, social, and economic effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. NEPA also provides opportunities for public review and comment to help guide the decision-making process. CATS anticipates following the three-step process below in order to receive federal funds to build the project. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, CATS will host public engagement opportunities for the public to provide their input and comment on the Project.

The anticipated milestones for NEPA are notice of intent, environmental impact statement, and combined final environmental impact statement

Public Engagement

CATS has conducted extensive public engagement, including several online open houses, live virtual public meetings, neighborhood/stakeholder meetings, Title VI equity screening, and surveys. View previous project materials and watch meeting recordings on the Silver Line Project Library page.

Silver Line Project Library


Stay tuned for updates and how to participate in future public engagement opportunities.