While debate over using state tax money for light-rail projects continues, a news story is pointing out more clearly than ever that light-rail is already a thing of the past.
Last year, the legislature put a $500,000 spending cap on state funding for light-rail projects. This year, however, a bill was put forward to lift the cap. We pointed out the problems with this maneuver, especially regarding a proposed Chapel Hill-Durham light-rail project.
Among the points we made was that light-rail would soon be outmoded. And it turns out “soon” is “already.”
The Charlotte Observer reports on what is happening right now at that city’s light-rail line, Lynx:
Chris Walker … is one of thousands of people drawn to living within a stone’s throw of the Lynx Blue Line.
Walker likes being close to the light-rail line, but he doesn’t actually use it all that much.
“I have lived here a year and a half, and I have taken the train twice,” said Walker, whose apartment is less than a quarter-mile from the New Bern light-rail station at the southern-most part of South End. “We Uber instead. For $5, you can get uptown. It’s easy.”
For much of the past year, ridership on Charlotte Area Transit System buses and the Lynx Blue Line has declined. …