This morning, I wrote that, for transportation, there is no time like the present to invest in the future. One city that understands that quite clearly is Charlotte, NC. And today I was delighted to be back in the Queen's City to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Charlotte Streetcar Starter Line.
This streetcar is the first phase of a planned 10-mile line that will expand transit options, spur economic development and improve access to jobs, education and medical facilities in the heart of one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas.
The initial 1.5-mile section of the streetcar line will feature six stops--including a hospital--along a transit corridor that will make it easy for passengers to catch a local transit bus or LYNX light rail. It will also propel Charlotte yet another step forward in its vision of an inter-connected, modern transit system that gets people into, around, and out of the city without needing a car.
Increasing transportation options for residents, students, and commuters means less reliance on oil; it means spending less money; and it means less time stuck in traffic. It also means more jobs and additional investments in business, housing, and retail.
In addition to being a very popular way to get around, LYNX is also making Charlotte more economically competitive. This year alone, more than $200 million worth of new construction has been invested in the South End neighborhood near LYNX.
The starter streetcar line we broke ground on today will also add to Charlotte's livability. It's helping us deliver more of what people are demanding--more efficient and affordable transportation choices, more housing near public transportation, and reliable ways to get people where they need to go.
Across America, President Obama has invested in sustainable transportation choices like this to help communities like Charlotte grow. And across America we've been putting people back to work as we build a modern transportation network that continues to be the envy of the world.