Public Comment Sought on High Speed Rail Between Charlotte and Atlanta

CHARLOTTE, NC – It’s roughly 250 miles from Charlotte to Atlanta. The Federal Railroad Administration and the Georgia Department of Transportation believe a high-speed rail system could be used to make the trip in about 2 hours and 6 minutes.

“I do think there is appetite for this,” said Victoria Nwasike, a member of the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Commission, “and I do think, if available, people will actually use this option.”

Nwasike says there are currently few options when it comes to travel between the two cities.

“I do think it will open more doors than we have now,” said Nwasike, “right now the only option is I-85 and you don’t know if it’s going to take a couple hours or many many hours. ”

A recent study shows the connection between the cities would create jobs, reduce air pollution and increase mobility for millions. It would also cost billions to complete.

“The question is always the funding and whether the benefit outweighs the burden,” said Nwasike.

Three routes are being considered. The Greenfield route would cost an estimated $7 billion dollars. It would take up to two hours and forty-four minutes to travel. The route would service 6.3 million people annually.
The I-85 route would cost $15 billion dollars to construct. It would take about the same travel time and would service 5.6 million people.
The southern crescent route is by far the least expensive at $2.3 billion, but it would take up to five and a half hours to travel and only service 1.2 million people annually.

“I think this is one of the tools in the toolbox that we should continue to explore,” said Nwasike.

The meeting will be tomorrow from 5:30 to 8 pm at the transportation management center located at 2327 Tipton Drive.