Transit Planning

2030 Corridor System Plan Map

Light rail system map


In November 2006, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) adopted the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan. This long-range plan consists of multiple rapid transit improvements in five corridors, a series of Center City improvements, and bus service and facility improvements throughout the region.

CATS completed an integral part of the 2030 Plan with the opening of the LYNX Blue Line light rail service in 2007. In 2015, CATS opened CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar service. An extension of the Blue Line opened in March 2018, and Phase 2 of the CityLYNX is currently being constructed, with an expected service start date in 2021.

In November 2016, the MTC approved and adopted a light rail alignment for Charlotte's Southeast corridor, the LYNX Silver Line. This line replaced the initially proposed 14-miles of bus rapid transit planned for the southeast corridor. With the newly adopted LYNX Silver Line alignment, CATS conducted analysis studies for the remaining transit corridors within the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan, including the LYNX Red Line/ North Corridor and LYNX West Corridor.

On January 23, 2019, CATS presented its findings of both studies, as well as their impacts on Center City to the MTC during a presentation to updated the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan.

Four types of transportation modes Bus rapid transit, streetcar, light rail and commuter rail





Gold Line

The Gold Line is a 10-mile (37 stop) streetcar system that is an integral part of the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan and is being built in phases. The full streetcar line will connect all current and future rapid transit lines, including the Blue Line light rail, Silver Line light rail, Red Line commuter rail and provide a critical connection to the future Charlotte Gateway District and Multimodal Station. 

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Silver Line

The Silver Line is a planned 29-mile, 30 station light rail alignment from the City of Belmont in Gaston County, through Center City Charlotte and the Town of Matthews in Mecklenburg County, and into Stallings and Indian Trail in Union County.

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Blue Line

The Blue Line is an 18.6-mile light rail line that opened in November 2007, offering extensive connectivity with 26 stations and stretches from Interstate 485 to UNC Charlotte's main campus. It features 11 park and ride locations, designed to facilitate easy access for commuters. The Blue Line Extension, which further enhanced the network, was introduced in March 2018, expanding service and accessibility.

South End Station Project : Find Out More Here

North Corridor/Red Line

The Red Line is a 25-mile commuter rail project on the Norfolk Southern rail line, part of a transportation strategy that includes Bus Rapid Transit and future rapid transit options. Approved by the MTC in 2019, the project's next phase involves updating its design plans, considering changes since the original 2009 design. 

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Charlotte Gateway Station

The Charlotte Gateway Station (CGS) will be a comprehensive multi-modal transportation facility in vibrant uptown Charlotte at the intersection of West Trade and Graham Streets. This signature passenger station will provide both long-distance travelers and daily-commuters with greater accessibility to regional connections as well as to Charlotte's thriving employment, entertainment and cultural centers.

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Blue Line Pineville-Ballantyne Extension

The Blue Line Extension to Pineville and Ballantyne will add 5.5 miles and five stations to the current Blue Line. Several existing Blue Line station platforms will be expanded to accommodate current and future ridership demand, alleviate crowding during peak hours and special events and provide system-wide operational benefits.

Charlotte Transportation Center Redevelopment

CATS and the City of Charlotte are responding to proposal to redevelop the existing Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) into an upgraded facility. The new facility will create seamless connections to CATS express and local bus services, Blue Line light rail, Gold Line streetcar, and the pedestrian Rail Trail, which runs adjacent to the Blue Line.

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Better Bus/Envision My Ride

In 2022, the MTC adopted a comprehensive plan of bus improvements detailed in the Envision My Ride: Bus Priority Study. CATS is implementing the plan through the development of the Better Bus program. 

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MetroRAPID - Bus Rapid Transit

The MetroRAPID Bus Rapid Transit  Planning Study, adopted by the MTC in May 2022, outlines the future of rapid transit in the region. It sets the stage for updating the Red Line Commuter Rail's design plans, considering the corridor's evolution since the original 2009 design. This update aims to refine key aspects of the design to better serve the community's needs. 


Microtransit is a convenient, on-demand transit option, similar to Lyft or Uber, that uses smaller vehicles or even small buses to provide service within designated zones. It is also one of the key initiatives outlined in the Envision My Ride: Bus Priority Study, adopted by the MTC in May 2022. It is part of the larger goal to build a more reliable, connected and accessible mobility network for the greater Charlotte area.

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Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan

The Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP) was developed to provide strategies for coordinated paratransit and mobility management between multiple service providers.  The Plan recommends adjustments to paratransit procedures for increased mobility, improved service delivery, and enhanced connections to social services.  The Plan also helps guide Federal Section 5310 funding for capital and operating assistance projects submitted by area sub-recipient agencies.

Land Development/Transit-oriented Development

Developments adjacent to a CATS Transit Corridor requiring acquisition, air rights, use, or access to the Transit Corridor must apply for agreement(s) from CATS (Corridor Access Agreements).


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