CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte City Council voted 8-2 Tuesday night to approve a $50 million study for the LYNX Silver Line project.
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) presented the first major steps toward making the rail route a reality for the region. The plan is to connect Belmont to Matthews through uptown Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
On Tuesday night, the city council looked at approving a contract for development planning services at $1.15 million and a contract for professional design and environmental services at $50 million.
The $50 million study was approved down party lines, with the two Republican council members voting against the study. There were questions about how the project if ultimately approved after the study, would be funded.
"If we don't start, we'll never get anywhere," Mayor Vi Lyles said as she concluded the discussion on the item before the vote. "That's what this council has talked about for the last two years: jobs, housing, and a way to get there."
According to the agenda, the funding for the development planning services contract will come from CATS operating budget and the funding for the design and environmental services contract will come from the CATS capital investment program.
"I know this is a large project, but proportionately, I do not think it is the largest project the city has ever had," Lyles said.
The study will last about two to three years, according to the City Attorney's Office. That's vastly shorter than the five to seven years the study was originally supposed to take.
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