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Charlotte Area News

CATS expects a few service cuts even with fare hike

Charlotte Area Transit officials want to hike bus and train fares by 25 cents to help narrow a budget shortfall next year that could total at least $2 million. They say that'll help preserve the system's core services. But even with a fare hike there will be a few cuts. By raising fares, transit officials say they won't have to make cuts to the Lynx or buses operating only in Mecklenburg County. CATS runs a handful of express buses to cities outside county limits. Those areas are expected to split the cost of that service with CATS. Last month, Lincoln County commissioners decided against paying $43,000 for their express route. So CATS plans to either scale it back significantly or discontinue the service. Union County's express service operates partly on an air quality grant. That expires soon, so CATS plans to end service this summer between Monroe and Marshville. The free Gold Rush lines running uptown will operate only every 10 or 12 minutes, since companies who help pay for the service contributed less. CATS also plans to save $176,000 by ending Charlotte Trolley runs on the weekend and a program called Guaranteed Ride Home. CATS will discuss these changes next Wednesday afternoon at the main library uptown. They're expected to go into effect July 1.