The county has applied for funding from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program to possibly expand the bus route from Denver to Charlotte.
The motion to go forward with the process was made by Commissioner Marie Moore at Monday nightâ€™s meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. The board unanimously agreed to apply.
As a member of the Lake Norman Regional Planning Organization, Lincoln County has been given the opportunity for the funding since the county is an area of non-attainment.
Gaston County and a portion of South Iredell County were also listed as non-attainment on June 15, 2004.
Commission Chairman Tom Anderson said this is a good step for the board to take in order to get out of non-attainment.
â€œThe major source of pollution is coming from other places, but we can do what we can,â€ Anderson said.
The funding, if approved, will help pay for most of the cost for an expanded bus route. It will add on four trips â€” two outbound from Denver to Charlotte and two inbound trips from Charlotte to Denver. Currently, the bus service offers one round trip per day.
Brad Dyer, Land Use Coordinator for the county, said that he assumes that the trips will be staggered in the morning with one leaving earlier and one leaving later.
The project is aimed at helping improve the air quality and reduce vehicle emissions. All areas with non-attainment must reach attainment status by 2010.
The proposed trips would increase bus ridership by roughly 36 people per trip. It is also a reduction of 36 vehicle trips per day. Approximately 2,831,147 grams of harmful emissions will be reduced.
Currently, there are roughly 17 people who ride the bus each day.
CMAQ would fund 80 percent of the project each year for three years, Lincoln County will pay a 10 percent match and the Charlotte Area Transit Authority will pay a 10 percent match.
by Amy Wadsworth