September Newsletter September 30, 2020

About Connect Beyond

CONNECT Beyond is a regional mobility initiative that is being led by the Centralina Regional Council. CONNECT Beyond will create a bold regional transit plan that provides real mobility solutions and opportunities for residents and visitors across 12 counties in North and South Carolina. Reliable transportation options provide access to jobs, education, medical facilities and services, and serve as the foundation to our region’s continued economic competitiveness and quality of life.

During this 18-month planning effort, we are working with regional partners to develop a long-term strategic plan that it will include a regional transit vision along with action-oriented implementation strategies that can be used by our partners to guide individual planning efforts and capital investment projects. You can learn more about CONNECT Beyond by visiting our website at

Upcoming Special Event

The CONNECT Beyond Project Team is hosting a special virtual event on September 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. This special event will feature a conversation about the importance of regional mobility between Centralina Regional Council's Executive Director Geraldine Gardner and former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.

This special event will also feature a moderated panel discussion about the social equity opportunities related to public transit and why transit planning is still essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Featured panelists include Charlotte Area Transit System CEO John Lewis Jr., North Carolina Board of Transportation Member Tony Lathrop, Greater Gaston Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Mumford, and City of Concord Mayor Bill Dusch.

The CONNECT Beyond Project Team will also give a presentation about how we are analyzing the region’s transit needs and the candidate high capacity transit and commuter rail corridors that are being evaluated for our region. Visit our website to learn more about this special virtual event.

This special virtual event will be live streaming on Centralina Regional Council's YouTube Live, so that community members from our 12-county region have the opportunity to watch the event.

Visit Our New Project Website

We are excited to announce that the project website for CONNECT Beyond is now live! To learn more about this regional mobility initiative, visit our new website at

Project Update

This spring, the CONNECT Beyond Project Team worked with our Technical Advisory Committee and our Policy Advisory Committee to create the Purpose, Vision & Mission, and Goals for CONNECT Beyond. You can view these on the Project Details page of our new website.

Our Project Team spent the summer analyzing transportation plans from communities across our region, previous public input, current travel patterns, population and employment growth trends, future land use plans, and other data, in order to develop draft high capacity transit corridors. The Project Team met with technical staff, elected officials, and private sector leaders, including meetings with each transportation planning organization and transit system. On September 30, the Project Team will present a summary of this analysis and unveil the candidate high capacity transit and commuter rail corridors that are being evaluated for our region.

Partner Toolkit

A Partner Toolkit with information and resources about CONNECT Beyond is now available for our regional partners on our new project website. You can access the Partner Toolkit by visiting the Resources page.

Thank you for your interest and involvement in CONNECT Beyond!