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Charlotte Area

CATS Increases Prices For Passes, Does Away With Some Discounts

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

The price you’ll pay to ride Charlotte Area Transit is going up in some cases, but CATS is not calling it a fare increase. The price of an individual ride is not going up, but the price of weekly passes is increasing from $22 to $30.80. CATS is also doing away with discounts on several 10-ride passes and reducing some volume discounts for people who buy transit passes through their employers.

CATS spokesman Olaf Kinard says the changes are designed to impact the smallest number of low-income riders, most of whom pay per ride.

"Turns out that our low income customers use cash 50 percent of the time, so if we had adjusted a fare increase, you know, they would’ve been impacted completely," Kinard says.

Only about 7 percent of people who buy multi-ride passes are low income.

The transit system usually adjusts its prices every two years. This year they’re designed to offset a $2.8 million budget shortfall. That’s in line with the shortfall in 2014 of $2.4 million, when the last round of fare increases was put in place.

The price changes go into effect Friday, July 1.