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CATS Delays End to Northlake-Airport Connector Bus

CATS bus
City of Charlotte

Charlotte Area Transit System has announced a four-month delay of its plan to discontinue a bus route from north Charlotte to Charlotte-Douglas Airport.

Service had been scheduled to end in June on the Route 590 Airport Connector, which runs from the park-and-ride lot at Northlake Mall to the airport. But CATS now says it will operate the route until October.  

The airport has been paying for the route since it started four years ago to help employees get to work. Airport employees can ride free. But ridership has been low, averaging just three passengers per trip, according to CATS.

After announcing the end of the bus, CATS held public meetings last month, where some riders objected to the change. One rider started a Change.org petition to keep the bus. As of mid-afternoon Friday, 556 people had signed.

CATS says the delay will give it time to come up with alternate transportation to the airport from north Mecklenburg.

One alternative could be a CATS vanpool service. That lets groups of five to 15 commuters use a van at a low cost, depending on the distance and number of riders. CATS provides the van fuel, insurance and other administrative expenses.

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David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.