Expansion of transit has helped fuel a boost in ridership over the last decade in Charlotte. But with falling tax revenues, the city looks unlikely to be able to continue its planned transit growth.
The Transport Politic looks at how transit has grown in Charlotte, and how tax problems are likely to derail planned expansions.
"The recession, however, has hit Charlotte hard. Most significantly, its biggest employer, Wachovia Bank, was threatened with bankruptcy and eventually bought up by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo. Consumer spending, like in many cities, declined massively. In 2008, revenues collected using the transit sales tax amounted to $71 million; two years later, the total had fallen to $57.4 million. This fall-off, which is expected to produce a total revenue shortfall of up to $1 billion by 2030, has forced the region to reconsider its plans for transit expansion.
In the process, the Charlotte metropolitan area is threatening to derail the positive momentum it has created for transit ridership."
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