Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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By the numbers, ridership is running years ahead of schedule along the Lynx Blue Line.
Early surveys suggested that the cars would carry nine thousand passengers a day, but in numbers released by Cats ridership is eight years ahead of schedule.
A spokesperson told us that average daily ridership is in the neighborhood of 14 thousand a day, which is the level that was expected in the year 2020.
Bob Morgan is the President Charlotte Chamber who is beaming over the surging numbers.
"Let's remember it wasn't just a transit program," he said."It was a transit land use program. It's important that we got those two right together. Over three billion dollars along the light rail line. A tremendous tax base has been generated."
New development and increased traffic along the South Boulevard are the direct results of what light rail has brought.
It has also altered traffic patterns and driving habits.
"I'm stunned that during the special events DNC, Panthers games, St. Patrick's day. People prefer the train as a way to get to the Center City, Morgan said.
While the city celebrates five years of light rail service, the positives of this anniversary are taken to heart by those making an investment.
Dennis Magitas and his brother Gus renamed the old Flamingo restaurant, the Light Rail Family restaurant.
"Our business has increased every year since we've had this place. So it's working, " Magitas said.
Rodney Spears is one rider who welcomes the traffic that has come near his job at the Scaleybark Bark Station.
"It's changed things a lot far as people getting back and forth to works and grocery shopping. It moves really rapidly."
While commuters welcome easier access to their jobs, individuals who sell our city like Chamber President Bob Morgan are excited over what happens when the rail line heads North to UNC Charlotte.
"To tie more closely tie that institution with Central Business District that drives this region. I think we're gonna see success greater that we saw toward Pineville," Morgan said.