Charlotte area business and economic leaders continue to work towards making Charlotte a major global hub, with the new intermodal facility at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and as trade routes across the globe prepare to change due to the expansion of the Panama Canal next year. So what strategies should our region’s leaders use to help us find success in that global hub quest? What does Charlotte have that would allow us to be a global economic center? And how will success in that role change lives for Charlotteans? We’ll ask our panel of experts, including Charlotte’s mayor, Patrick Cannon. 

DMV May Eliminate Written Exam For Licensed Drivers

Feb 27, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

The DMV is looking to make a few big changes this year to reduce wait times. For one, there's a proposal to eliminate the written test requirement for out-of-state residents to get a North Carolina driver's license. 

Concord Seeks Overpass To Concord Mills Mall

Jan 5, 2014
Simon Property Group

If you've ever visited the Concord Mills mall, you've probably had to sit in traffic for at least a few minutes. That's because Exit 49 off I-85 is the most congested interchange in Cabarrus County.

Last month, the city of Concord passed a resolution endorsing the construction of an overpass between I-85 and the mall and sidewalks to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

Concord's transportation director Joe Wilson says it's critical to ease congestion for all the visitors to the Concord Mills Mall. Forty-two thousand cars pass through Concord Mills Boulevard every day.

DAPTCO Motor Coach Services

Federal transportation regulators put 52 bus companies out of business in the past eight months, eight of them in the Carolinas. The Department of Transportation says the bus companies were shut down as part of what it calls Operation Quick Strike—an effort to crack down on unsafe bus companies. WFAE’s Ben Bradford looked into the alarming safety records of our local companies that were shut down.

Construction On Blue Line Extension Will Begin 2014

Dec 11, 2013

Bulldozers have been clawing at the sides of North Tryon for months now to make way for the Blue Line light rail extension.  

Construction on the blue line light rail extension is going to intensify in early 2014. CATS officials gave an update during a public workshop Tuesday night in the University area.

CATS Bus Drivers Avoid Strike, Win Pay Raise

Dec 9, 2013
City of Charlotte

After threatening a potential strike, the union representing CATS bus drivers has reached a tentative agreement with Transit Management of Charlotte on a new three-year labor contract. Both parties have been in negotiations since July. CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers says drivers will receive a 2.3 percent pay raise, an additional day off, bonuses based on performance and attendance.

The two sides were able to find a compromise on scheduling issues and seniority. 

Mecklenburg County Eyes Scenic Route

Aug 6, 2013
Julie Rose

Mecklenburg County – known for booming growth and ever-expanding freeways – is looking to get on the map for a very different kind of transportation: designation of the county's very first scenic byway.

The starting point for the proposed Davidson Scenic Byway turns out to be a pretty unscenic spot in front of an old, abandoned building. It's at the Iredell County border on Highway 115 (that's Old Statesville Road) just north of downtown Davidson. 

Charlotte Area Transit System

Transportation is a big issue in Charlotte - so is funding it. Officials are exploring financing options for the really big, really expensive 2030 Transit Plan. As a result of the recession, there is a $3 billion gap in funding for the long-term plan that has left some, like Charlotte City Council member David Howard to claim "if we don’t do something different, this 2030 or 2035 Plan is going to be more like a 2080 Plan." He is Committee Co-Chair, along with Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain of a 30-member transit funding working group formed at the behest of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (who has been nominated as Transportation Secretary) to explore possible options to help fund $4 billion worth of projects. They join us to share their findings. The future and funding challenges of Charlotte's transit plan, when Charlotte Talks.

White House officials have confirmed that President Obama will appoint Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the next Secretary of Transportation--a big leap onto the national stage for the local politician.

Audio Pending...

Those who regularly battle traffic on the southern stretch of I-485 have some good news.  The interstate will grow to three lanes in each direction by the end of 2015.  That’s a full year ahead of schedule. 

The southern section of I-485 from I-77 to Rea Road can be a headache at rush hour.  Tim Timmerman knows it well since he lives nearby. 

“It’s bumper to bumper and your fair share of bumper jumpers and little accidents and everything,” says Timmerman.