Friday, September 3, 2021

Here Comes the Train: Get to Know the CityLYNX Gold Line

This week, the CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar opened for service. This development has been many years in the making, but it's all worth the wait. Not only are streetcars fun to ride, but they provide environmental, social and economic benefits for our community. Here's why you should get to know the Gold Line. 

Something to do
My guess (hope!) is Gold Line ridership will really take off when more folks return to their uptown offices following the pandemic. But riding the streetcar is an excellent outing on it's own, even if you've got no reason to commute or no place in particular to be along the train route. 

The 2.5-mile track now runs through uptown, connecting the Historic West End to the Elizabeth neighborhood. All along the way, there are a number of things to do. Start with a tour of the Historic West End. Hop off in Center City for a bite to eat or a stroll around uptown. Take a short walk from the Elizabeth terminus to enjoy a beautiful view of uptown from the Elizabeth Ave. overpass bridge or to get ice cream from Two Scoops Creamery

The Gold Line runs from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily. Since it is a streetcar (versus light rail), it stops at lights and follows the flow of traffic. End-to-end, depending on the time of day, it's about a 30-minute ride. There are 11 stops, all fully accessible. And, like all CATS services, you can rack-and-ride with your bike. Bonus: From now though the end of the year, it's free to ride! 

Good for the environment
According to SustainCLT, in 2011, Charlotte commuters released 296,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and consumed 14,599,000 gallons of excess fuel while sitting in traffic. Gasp! Cringe! The more folks who leave their gas-guzzling cars at home and opt for public transit, the less pollutant emissions and better air quality for Charlotte. Fewer cars also means less congestion and healthier commute times. Win win win, if you ask me. 

Good for the community
Streetcars provide equitable, and affordable transportation and help connect neighborhoods. They are also a draw for the next generation of young, talented workers who favor public transit as a solution to climate change. And (bonus!), studies have shown that folks who ride by rail are fitter than the average American. Community goodness abounds. 

Want more information? Check out this helpful video on how to ride the CityLYNX Gold Line. Enjoy the ride! 

How to get there: 
There are 11 stops along the Gold Line street car line, running from French St. at Beatties Ford Rd. in the west end to Sunnyside Ave. at Hawthorne Ave. in the east. Don't live near the rail line? Ride your bike! Rack-and-ride is available on all of the cars.

No comments:

Post a Comment