Local Leaders Turn to Charlotte for Transportation Insights

Local leaders say public transportation's the direction the Triangle needs to move in to avoid even worse commutes as traffic increases.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Get out of your car and into public transportation. Local leaders say that's the direction the Triangle needs to move toward to avoid even worse commutes in the future.

Sixty Triangle business leaders and elected officials were in Charlotte on Thursday to learn more about the city's transit system and what how leaders there manage it.

What they learned is that if planned correctly and managed appropriately, mass transit works.

Among the highlights of the day's visit was a ride on the Lynx commuter rail, which opened two months ago.

It's one part of the city's long-term transit plan, which also includes buses, streetcars, trolleys and bicycles.

"This is critically important for the Triangle," Raleigh businessman Sig Hutchinson said. "We're talking about building a 21st-century city, a 21st-century region, and transit has got to be a part of that vision."

With a full day of presentations from Charlotte transit leaders, points of discussion included keys to success, lessons learned and funding issues.

"It's very important, also, to gain a cross section of support," Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan said.

"We have a window of opportunity. We all know the transportation system is slowly breaking down," Hutchinson said. "The worst part of our day is actually sitting in traffic waiting to get to and from work."

"We've got to come up with a better way. There are better solutions," he said.


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