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CATS Proposes Fare Hikes To Cover Expected Operating Costs

CATS has cut some bus routes and added others so fewer riders have to pass through the Transit Center uptown.
Charlotte Area Transit System

Charlotte Observer

The cost of fares and some passes for city buses and trains could go up in July as Charlotte Area Transit Systems looks for ways to boost revenue to meet operating costs.

CATS has proposed two options for fee increases for fares and passes. The public can comment on those proposals at a public hearing March 23. If approved by the Metropolitan Transit Commission, fares would change July 1.

One option would add 10 cents to transit fares, raise the fee for a weekly pass and increase pass prices for some organizations in the Employee Transportation Coordination program.

A second proposal is similar but calls for eliminating discounts for 10-ride passes (full fares would apply) rather than changing individual fares. Fees could also rise for a weekly pass and for passes for some organizations in the Employee Transportation Coordination program.

Higher fares would offset a $2.8 million shortfall projected for the transit system’s operating budget for fiscal year 2017, according to a statement from CATS.

Current fees are $2.20 for a one-way ride on city buses or light rail, $3 for Express rides in Mecklenburg and $4.40 for Express Plus service to surrounding counties. Discounts are available for seniors. Children age 5 and younger ride for free with an adult. Weekly passes are $22 and monthly passes are $88.

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

CATS public meeting

Sign up now to comment on fare increases being considered by Charlotte Area Transit System. A public meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 23 at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St., room 267.

Those who want to comment are asked to sign up before 3 p.m. March 23 at 704-432-0872 or mtcinterest@charlottenc.gov.