Photos by Alexandria Sands.

Students returning to campus this fall will be pleased to discover an ‘almost’ complete light rail station.

Throughout the summer, construction has been ongoing across from Wallis Hall in preparation for the station’s opening this spring. The LYNX Blue Line extension was originally slated to begin operations this month, but “construction coordination challenges” postponed the opening. 

It’s been almost five years ago since CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) signed a deal with the federal government to pay for half of the $1.16 billion it would cost to extend the LYNX Blue Line. With the completion, the light rail will now have a total of 26 stations, including it’s terminal at UNC Charlotte and a stop at the University’s Center City campus.

Students will be able to make it to both points in twenty minutes, but can also ride to other popular stops such as the Spectrum Center, Historic North Davidson and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

The deadline for the project completion is March 2018, but CATS claims to be practicing time-saving activities to get the light rail running as soon as possible.

Students will receive an all access pass to ride the light rail, trolleys and majority of CATS transit including local and express buses. The pass will be paid through an annual $50 fee, included in tuition once the light rail opens.

The light rail will operate seven days a week, from early morning until late night, with 107 trains arriving on campus each day. Campus shuttles will be extending their hours to accommodate the riders getting on and off the train at all hours.

For those interested in keeping up with the light rail, visit lightrail.uncc.edu.

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Alexandria Sands is the Niner Times' community editor. She is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Journalism and English. Sands' work has been published in The Charlotte Business Journal, Creative Loafing, The Gaston Gazette, The Shelby Star and The State Port Pilot. When she's not in the newsroom, you can catch her reading a book on Oak Island. Reach her at community@ninertimes.com or @alexsands_.

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