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Let’s talk about transit equity. It’s a timely topic, and not just because today is Transit Equity Day

This week, the Metropolitan Transit Commission met and voted to move forward with redevelopment plans for the Charlotte Transportation Center, our central bus station, and discussed an alignment for the center city portion of the future Silver Line light rail. Both decisions could be consequential to equity when it comes to the transportation and mobility needs of residents throughout the Charlotte region.
(📷: City of Charlotte)
We applaud progress toward meeting those transportation and mobility needs and continue to feel strongly that equity and the needs of riders should be at the forefront of all mobility investments. 

Today, we join together with transit advocates across the country in celebrating Transit Equity Day in honor of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, a pioneer in the transit equity movement. Parks’ advocacy for public transit as a civil right is a vision we applaud and work hard to support.
(📷 Lauren Sawyers/Sustain Charlotte)

Yesterday, we held an appreciation event to recognize transit operators and riders at the Charlotte Transportation Center. Our call to action is for Charlotte’s leaders to ensure that all residents have consistently fast, frequent (every 15 minutes), reliable and walkable public transit. 

The Charlotte Area Transit System will provide free rides today (Saturday) to celebrate Transit Equity Day. All CATS bus routes, paratransit, the LYNX Blue Line and the City LYNX Gold Line will be fare-free. Choose to ride transit wherever you need to go, and post a selfie using the hashtag #transitequityday. 

Won’t you join us in recognizing and celebrating transit equity — today and every day?


Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director

Top stories

(📷: City of Charlotte)

Mecklenburg County's FY24 budget process is gearing up

Mecklenburg County's planning process for the fiscal year 2024 budget is underway. Late last month, county commissioners spent three days in a special retreat to discuss proposals for the budget. We watched. We were most interested in the county discussions regarding the Equity Action Plan, the Environmental Leadership Action Plan, the Capital Improvement Plan and the Board of Commissioners' overall priorities. You'll recall that just three weeks ago, we asked you to urge commissioners to adequately fund land acquisition to expand our greenway network, along with our public parks and nature preserves.

Read our recap — and thoughts — about the overall budget process so far here. And you can read our analysis of the Capital Improvement Plan discussion here.

(📷: Ely Portillo/WFAE)

A focus on Charlotte's Corridors of Opportunity — including safer infrastructure

WFAE has a new series on Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity — historically overlooked neighborhoods that the Mayor's Racial Equity Initiative hopes to revitalize with public investment. The series' focus is an important one.

Our director of engagement and impact, Meg Fencil, was interviewed for a story on the West Boulevard corridor. We’ve been working with the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition since 2016 to make the area safer for pedestrians and people on bikes. Crosswalks have been added recently, but there’s still a long way to go.

“It's definitely improving, and it's now safer to cross at a number of points due to those improved intersections and the pedestrian crossing beacons,” Meg said. “But the area still needs a lot of investment to become truly walkable. It needs more businesses. So, a walk needs to be safe, useful and inviting.”

As WFAE’s reporter correctly pointed out, there are disparities in safe infrastructure across Charlotte’s neighborhoods. We believe all residents deserve safe ways to move around our community and that special care should be taken to protect the most vulnerable road users.

You can read the full story here.

Reporters compare Charlotte's transit discussions to 'Groundhog Day'

Thursday was Groundhog Day, and the writers of the Transit Time newsletter had a bit of fun with the unofficial holiday. They likened public discussions about Charlotte's proposed $13.5 billion transit plan to the movie "Groundhog Day," in which a meteorologist is stuck living the same day over and over. As they point out, Charlotte leaders have talked about the need for a sales tax to fund much-needed infrastructure for years, but such a tax referendum has yet to make it on the ballot.

Our take: The need for investment in our transportation system has been delayed for too long. We need to move forward this year with a request to state lawmakers for the sales tax authority.

The Charlotte metro area can't afford to wait any longer, and the available federal funds will go to our peer cities that have already secured a local funding source.

One quick note: The CONNECT Beyond plan mentioned in the Transit Time article is complete and can be read at More regional support is needed.

You can read the full article here.

Partner news

💡 Renewing partner spotlight: STV 💡

We are so grateful to STV for renewing their annual partnership in our corporate partner network as a Bronze Partner! STV is an award-winning professional firm consistently ranking among the country's top companies in transportation infrastructure, including rail, mass transit, highways and bridges; water; and social infrastructure, such as health care, education and justice. Learn more at 

Businesses that join our partner network are committing to support our efforts toward a healthy, equitable, and vibrant Charlotte for generations to come. 

To learn more about how your company can become a partner, visit!

Events + opportunities

(📷: Sustain Charlotte)

Here's what's on our radar

Take a walk with us! We’re teaming up with AARP Charlotte and our Growing our Greenways partners to host a group walk along the Irwin Creek Greenway from 9-10:30 a.m. March 3. Go ahead and mark your calendar! We’ll meet at Seversville Park on Bruns Avenue in Charlotte. Learn more and sign up here.
Get involved in the environmental movement: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Climate Leaders is hosting an open house with local environmental organizations from 3-7 p.m. Feb. 11 at Birdsong Brewing Co. in Charlotte. We’ll be there, so stop by and see us! You’ll learn about our environmental goals for 2023 and those of several partner organizations. Learn more here.
Help make Charlotte's public spaces pop: The Charlotte Urban Design Center has opened applications for the 2023 Placemaking Grant and Creative Pool. The program is meant to make underutilized public spaces more vibrant. Projects could include murals, painted crosswalks, green infrastructure, bike parking, bus stop improvements and more. Grants ranging from $1,000-$25,000 are available. Residents, organizations and businesses can apply. The deadline for applications is March 3. Learn more here. There’s also a virtual workshop about the process from 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 9. Sign up here.
Earth Day stream cleanup: We’ll be cleaning up a section of a Charlotte greenway from 9-11 a.m. April 22. We’re still sorting out the details, but you can go ahead and RSVP to help. Register here.
Celebrate sustainability: In case you missed the announcement last week, we’ve opened up nominations for the 11th annual Sustain Charlotte Awards, which will be held April 27. Nominate a person (or organization) who deserves to be honored for advancing sustainability today. Find details, ticket info and nomination forms here.

What we're reading

Charlotte gets $4.4 million grant to address intersection and pedestrian safety (City of Charlotte)

The best new U.S. bike lanes (PeopleForBikes)

Kids' psychology affects how they behave around cars — and regulators should take note (StreetsblogUSA)

Thank you for reading!

As a nonprofit, we rely on support from our community. If you find value in this free weekly newsletter, please consider becoming a member or making a one-time donation. It will help us continue keeping you informed through the newsletter, social media and the timely weekly articles we publish for everyone. More broadly, your support will help us continue our mission of making Charlotte healthier, more equitable and vibrant for all.
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Thank you to our partners!

We genuinely appreciate all of our partners. Their generous year-round support allows us to work towards our mission.



BirdBoingo Graphics - Ekologicall - Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont 
HDR - Integra Architecture - Lime - Little -  Moore & Van Allen
NC Sustainable Energy Association  -  QTS GroupRenu Energy Solutions
Self-Help Credit UnionStantec - STV - The Mill Coworking 

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