Cheers to Public Transportation
On a warm summer evening in Charlotte, North Carolina, transit fans gathered to celebrate the future of public transportation. Braving 100 degree heat, over 175 people arrived to learn more about the new light rail system coming to Charlotte. Event goers including Sierra member Mark Campbell and US Green Building Council (USGBC) Charlotte President, Anne Jackson (above), toured one of Charlotte Area Transit's new LYNX trains, and saw a sneek preview of automated ticketing machines that will print out future passengers’ tickets. The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club and organizer Chatham Olive, sponsored the event, and provided wine for all. Several VIPs were in attendance, including Charlotte Observer Editor, Ed Williams, former County Commission Chair, Tom Cox, and Sierra Club’s Appalachian Regional Director, Glen Besa.
Charlotte is one of over 600 Cool Cities across the US working to reduce its global warming impact. Improving public transportation is part of the solution to global warming, and is a welcome step in North Carolina. For decades, the people of the Smoky Mountain region have battled road projects that, if built, would destroy some of the region’s most beautiful landscape, not to mention encourage more car-driving and thereby greenhouse gas pollution. When citizens have environmentally friendly transportation options available, it makes driving cars seem like a thing of the past. So, cheers to a bright future!