I disagree on the University line. The University area has a high population density and is a fairly large business center (although most of those business centers are not directly accessibly via rail). The old IBM building has been retrofitted and has several large tenants moving there, not to mention the thousands that work at the university itself.
The new line needs to go between Prov rd and uptown. Free up traffic on that road and 51 as well as 485. The university line is not as urgent imo.
I think keeping a shuttle system from uptown to the airport is easier than a rail. But you do have to expect growth and let that grow around the rail lines that get built.
More than anything, I think it was necessary to keep the northern part of the county happy. They contribute to the 1/2 cent transit tax as well, so they need see that they're getting something out of the arrangement as well. If the southern part of the county got another line before the northern part, they wouldn't be too happy. The line up to the university will help people in the Huntersville area get into uptown the same the Pineville stop helps S. Charlotte residents get into uptown.
The University City area has over 200,000 residents. That's a pretty big chunk of the Charlotte population.
I'd love to see a line down Providence someday, but if it ever happens, it'll come at the expense of a lane of traffic, which I don't think people would be too happy about. The road cannot really be widened along most of Providence Road and there is no way they're going to chop down those old trees to add in rail.