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Charlotte - USA
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Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina and the 19th-largest city in the United States. The seat of Mecklenburg County, it is the largest city between Philadelphia and Jacksonville. In 2007, Charlotte's population was estimated to be 671,588, an increase of 46% since 1990. 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 Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who had become queen consort of 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. This is also reason for the City's former NBA team the Charlotte Hornets. In 2007, the Charlotte metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,583,016. 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 2008) of 2,491,650. In 2008, 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. The area that is now Charlotte was first settled in 1755 when Thomas Polk (uncle of United States President James K. Polk), who was traveling with Thomas Spratt and his family, stopped and built his house of residence at the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One of the paths ran north-south and was part of the Great Wagon Road; the second path ran east-west along what is now modern-day Trade Street. In the early part of the 18th century, the Great Wagon Road led settlers of Scots-Irish and German descent from Pennsylvania into the Carolina foothills. Within the first decades following Polk's settling, the area grew to become the community of "Charlotte Town," which officially incorporated as a town in 1768. The crossroads, perched atop a long rise in the Piedmont landscape, became the heart of modern Uptown Charlotte.

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is the agency responsible for operating mass transit in Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County.

CATS operates light rail transit, historical trolleys, express shuttles, and bus service serving Charlotte and its immediate suburbs. The LYNX light rail system comprises a 9.6-mile line north-south line known as the Blue Line. Bus ridership continues to grow (66% since 1998), but more slowly than operations increases which have risen 170% in that same time when adjusted for inflation. The 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan looks to supplement established bus service with light rail & commuter rail lines as a part of a system dubbed LYNX.

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport is the 30th busiest airport in the world, as measured by traffic It is served by many domestic airlines, as well as international airlines Air Canada and Lufthansa, and is the largest hub of US Airways. Nonstop flights are available to many destinations across the United States, as well as flights to Canada, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Mexico. Charlotte's central location between the population centers of the northeast and southeast has made it a transportation focal point and primary distribution center, with two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-77, intersecting near the city's center. Charlotte's beltway, designated I-485 and simply called "485" by locals, is partially completed but stalled for funding. The new projection has it slated for completion by 2013. Upon completion, 485 will have a total circumference of approximately 67 miles (108 km). Within the city, the I-277 loop freeway encircles Charlotte's downtown (usually referred to by its two separate sections, the John Belk Freeway and the Brookshire Freeway) while Charlotte Route 4 links major roads in a loop between I-277 and I-485.
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