Transportation & Mobility

Transportation and mobility play a central role in improving the quality of life for individuals, communities and the entire region, increasing economic access and equity. Transportation of goods and people does not follow political boundaries and therefore is multi-jurisdictional in nature, often exceeding community, county, Metropolitan Planning Organization and state boundaries. Centralina leads collaborative efforts to ensure our regional transportation and mobility systems work harmoniously, making the greater Charlotte area more economically competitive.

During CONNECT Our Future, a three-year Centralina-led engagement series aimed at developing regional priorities and a regional growth framework, our region identified transportation as a top priority. Since then, we have led numerous initiatives and programs to help our region achieve our transportation and mobility goals.



CONNECT Beyond Regional Transit Plan

Centralina spearheaded the development our region’s first coordinated bi-state transit system plan that includes multiple modes of transportation. The project kicked off in 2020 when representatives from across North and South Carolina met to launch the planning process. This mobility initiative is now in the implementation phase and will continue to unfold under the direction of Centralina and the Metropolitan Transit Commission, CATS’ policy board. The project area includes 12 counties in a geographic area covering over 5,000 square miles, a population of roughly 2.5 million people and close to 20 separate transit agencies. The plan aims to improve mobility and access, create new transportation efficiencies, identify ways to connect more communities within the region and lead future collaboration and problem-solving.

Read the Regional Transit Engagement Series success story for background information on this project.

Centralina Integrated Mobility Center

This CONNECT Beyond implementation initiative, funded by the USDOT's Build America Bureau Regional Infrastructure Accelerator grant, will expand regional capacity and local knowledge of innovative project finance and federal funding opportunities for transit, land-use transportation integration and multimodal projects. The Center will focus on the following three areas:

1) Finance Innovation - serving as a regional hub for technical assistance and knowledge sharing of innovative project finance models, tools and federal funding.

2) Project Facilitation - leading regional coordination of priority CONNECT Beyond mobility projects that create a pipeline for federal financing and public-private partnerships.

3) Transit-Oriented Development - expanding local knowledge of TOD practices and foster collaboration with the development community on innovative finance approaches.

Transportation Guide for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Older adults wish to age in place and many live a decade or longer without a personal car. When driving is no longer an option, other arrangements should be made to access important resources such as healthcare, healthy food, community support, religious organizations and more. It’s critical that communities offer a variety of transportation options to build mobility equity. To help navigate options, Centralina created this two-state guide that walks you through resources and key considerations when making transportation decisions for yourself or a loved one. This project represents one of several ongoing CONNECT Beyond implementation initiatives.

Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition

Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition is an energy program focused on the transportation sector that works to reduce petroleum dependence and expand alternative fuel use and technology in our region. Learn more on our Natural Resources & Resilience page.

Transportation System Connections, Coordination and Planning

A safe, efficient and reliable transportation system is an essential component of the greater Charlotte region’s vision for the future. Centralina works collaboratively with public, private and community partners across the region, state and nation to improve our region’s transportation planning and infrastructure. We lead, coordinate and partner with others on a variety of transportation initiatives including:

  • Freight mobility planning and private sector coordination
  • Regional transit planning
  • Coordination between transportation planning organizations
  • Statewide rail promotion
  • Planning for electric vehicle deployment

Read the success story for information on our Regional Freight Mobility Plan

Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture and Strategic Deployment Plan

Centralina is partnering with local, regional, state and federal agencies to explore how technology can be used to improve reliability and increase the capacity and safety of existing and planned transportation corridors through regionally coordinated investments and training. The region’s residents and businesses expect  transportation networks to be seamlessly optimized without regard to jurisdictional boundaries and to use technology to help reduce traffic congestion and improve coordination of transportation services to benefit the traveling public, commercial users and communities.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Road Map

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) have the potential to transform our communities, changing how people travel, how our communities grow and how infrastructure is designed and built. CAVs will likely have a significant impact on not only our mobility, but also our energy usage and ultimately our built environment.

To begin to understand the impact of CAVs within our region, Centralina held a workshop series was to raise awareness of these new technologies and their impact on our economy, land use, transportation and equity.

As a result, the CAV Regional Roadmap was developed to guide communities on how to prepare for this new technology through near and long-term priority actions. As an ongoing extension of this work, the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a regional coalition of public and private sector leaders, meets quarterly to advance local knowledge on this issue and determine how to coordinate emerging transportation technologies into local and regional initiatives.

Local Community

Electric Vehicle Curbside Charging Solutions

Cities can face challenges when trying to integrate electric vehicle charging stations into the existing built environment, creating a hurdle to the widespread adoption of electrified transportation. To explore solutions to this issue, Centralina partnered with UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production Infrastructure Center (EPIC), Eaton and Duke Energy to establish a pilot project that will add electric vehicle charging technology to street light poles at curbside locations. Throughout the project, we will assess current implementation barriers and develop a successful process to design, test and evaluate a solution for curbside electric vehicle charging stations. The solution will hopefully result in a proof of concept for utilizing existing street-lighting infrastructure. At the end of the project, we will prepare a report comparing the policy and implementation process for using this new technology. And, we’ll have a better understanding of the curbside charging market in our region.

Local Coordination: NC 73 Council of Planning

Centralina assists local governments in monitoring and managing a 35-mile section of the NC 73 corridor, which transverses through rapidly developing communities in Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Lincoln counties. Since 2004, our administrative support has allowed local governments to share land development proposals that will impact the corridor, coordinate on construction activities and anticipate transportation and land use conflicts across the three-county area.

Bike and Walkability Audits

Creating safe and convenient environments for walking and bicycling makes these transportation modes more attractive and more accessible to residents. There are many community benefits to offering bike and pedestrian mobility, including reducing commuting costs, lessening congestion, improving air quality, increasing access to parks, libraries or schools and encouraging a healthier population.

Centralina helps local communities and governments conduct audits to establish baseline data and detailed recommendations that transportation planners and engineers can directly use to develop improvements to the active transportation network. Audits locate the specific hazards and hardships of walking or biking for the general population.

Audits include a tour of the route or location, during which participants identify issues related to walking and biking, followed by a debriefing and brainstorming session to prioritize the concerns and identify potential solutions. An important aspect of conducting an audit is the active involvement of residents throughout the process, not only as data collectors and recommenders but also as users and advocates for walking and biking as realistic transportation options.

Audits can be done separately or as part of an overall bicycle or pedestrian plan.


Transportation & Mobility Resources