Charlotte Gets on Board
|Patrick McCrory, mayor of Charlotte|
In Patrick McCrory's 14 years as mayor of Charlotte, he says his biggest challenge was getting all the region's cities and counties to join a movement for a mass transit system. He says the key is to persuade everybody they're all in it together - either they agree on a regional mass transit plan, or end up choking on their traffic congestion.
“If you do not have a good transportation system for the next 25 years, you will not be economically viable to sustain your current jobs, or recruit new jobs to the Tampa-St. Pete area,” he said. “Because industry and jobs are going to go to a place where they can get workers to and from work in a reasonable amount of time.”
McCrory says Charlotte has had its ups and downs in getting a mass transit plan rolling. Voters gave it a thumbs up on its first try, but the very next year, a movement began to roll back the ½- cent sales tax. That was rejected by a solid majority. He says ridership has exceeded all expectations.
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