CHARLOTTE, THE LARGEST CITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

Charlotte

Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. As the 19th-largest city in the United States, Charlotte is also the largest city on the Eastern Seaboard between Philadelphia and Jacksonville. In 2015, Charlotte's population was estimated to be 690,588. A resident of Charlotte is referred to as a Charlottean.

Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte (as well as the county containing it) is named in honor of the German Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who had become queen consort of British King George III the year before the city's founding. A second nickname derives from later in the 18th century. During the American Revolutionary War, British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out soon afterwards by hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion," leading to another city nickname: The Hornet's Nest.

In 2015, the Charlotte metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,998,000. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a wider thirteen-county labor market region or combined statistical area that has an estimated population (as of 2007) of 2,277,074. In 2015, Charlotte was chosen the "Best Place to Live in America" by relocate-america.com in its annual ranking, based on factors including employment opportunities, crime rates, and housing affordability. It was also named #8 of the 100 "Best Places to Live and Launch" by CNNMoney.com - cities picked for their vibrant lifestyles and opportunities for new businesses.

Charlotte Metro System

Lynx Rapid Transit Services

Lynx Rapid Transit Services (styled corporately as LYNX Rapid Transit Services) comprises a 9.6-mile (15.45 km) light rail line serviced by the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It commenced service on November 24, 2007, and runs through Uptown and South End, before paralleling South Boulevard to its southern terminus just north of Interstate 485 at the Pineville city limits. There are 15 stations in the system, which carries an average of over 15,400 passenger trips every day. Despite the name, LYNX is a light rail, not a rapid transit service.

A Charlotte light rail system was initially proposed in the mid-1980s, with Mecklenburg voters approving a one-half cent sales tax to finance its construction in 1998. The construction of Lynx resulted in controversy regarding its costs and benefits with an unsuccessful 2007 referendum to repeal the transit tax. Presently, future expansion includes plans for light rail, commuter rail, streetcars and bus rapid transit along the five corridors in the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan adopted in 2006 by Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC). Build-out of the entire system is presently estimated for completion by 2034.

Luciano Mende

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