I-485/South Boulevard station
|LYNX light rail station|
|Location||9508 South Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28273
|Owned by||Charlotte Area Transit System|
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Connections||CATS Route #12, South Boulevard
CATS Route #42, Carowinds
CATS Route #58, Pineville
CATS Route #78x, Celanese Corridor Express
|Bicycle facilities||Racks and Lockers available|
|Opened||24 November 2007|
I-485/South Boulevard is an island platformed LYNX Rapid Transit Services (LYNX) light rail station in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The station was opened on November 24, 2007, and is operated by the Charlotte Area Transit System. Serving as the southern terminus of the Blue Line, it has service to Uptown Charlotte and is the closest station to Carolina Place Mall. The station is located immediately east of Sterling Elementary School off South Boulevard, a major north–south route through Charlotte. Three local CATS buses stop at the station, and parking is available on-site.
Originally, the southern terminus for the Blue Line was proposed for downtown Pineville near State Route 51. In 2002, the southern end was moved approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the north along South Boulevard at its present location as a result of low projected ridership figures for the proposed downtown Pineville station. The station officially opened for service on Saturday, November 24, 2007, and as part of its opening celebration fares were not collected. Regular service with fare collection commenced on Monday, November 26, 2007. This is the southern terminus of the Blue Line.
The station was designed for commuters in mind with its location being near the I-485 Outerbelt, with the construction of a large underground parking garage serving commuters from southern Mecklenburg County and South Carolina. The garage is the only one constructed along the line, and was built in a ravine adjacent to Sterling Elementary School. The 1,120 space garage was completed at a cost of $22.9 million, with the top floor featuring a playing field for the adjacent school. In November 2008, an additional 54 space parking lot was opened to the east of the station platform due to frequent overflow conditions. By August 2009, digital signs were added to the garage to alert motorists as to how many spaces remain prior to entering the facility.
As part of the CATS Art in Transit program, I-485/South Boulevard features several pieces intended to provide a better overall aesthetic for the station. The works include bas-reliefs entitled Skyrocket Oak by Alice Adams, drinking fountain basins designed to look like dogwoods, the North Carolina state flower, by Nancy Blum, games motifs on both the pavers and shelters by Leticia Huerta and the painting of the bridge and retaining walls by Marek Ranis.
- Whitacre, Dianne (July 25, 2002). "Cost of light rail to the south up 11%". The Charlotte Observer. p. 3B.
- Harrison, Steve; Kristen Valle (November 25, 2007). "Light rail, heavy traffic: Thousands wait in lines for a free ride on 1st day". The Charlotte Observer. p. 1A.
- Valle, Kristen (November 18, 2007). "Interstate 485/South Boulevard - Commutes start here". The Charlotte Observer. p. 12M.
- Rubin, Richard (August 28, 2006). "Light rail garage digs into budget". The Charlotte Observer. p. 2B.
- Hall, Kerry (November 13, 2008). "Parking added at LYNX stop". The Charlotte Observer. p. 4B.
- "New parking sign assists commuters at I-485 transit station". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on 2010-06-27. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "I-485/South Boulevard Station: Art in Transit". Charlotte Area Transit System. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- "Charlotte agency's light-rail station attains highway administration honors". Progressive Railroading. December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2008.