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CATS Changing North Meck Express Bus Routes To Use I-77 Toll Lanes

The Interstate 77 Express Lanes are now open between Charlotte and Mooresville. A CATS commuter bus used the lanes Nov. 14.  CATS says it's currently training drivers and buses will start using the lanes soon.
The new MetroRapid express bus routes will take advantage of the Interstate 77 express lanes.

Charlotte Area Transit System is overhauling its express bus service from Northern Mecklenburg County to take advantage of the Interstate 77 express lanes. CATS says it will replace the three current express bus routes with four new routes next month, under a new name — MetroRAPID. 

The new routes will run directly between different park and ride locations in Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson and uptown Charlotte. 

Route 77x will now stop at park-and-rides in Davidson and Cornelius. The 48X will now serve only the Northcross park-and-ride in Huntersville. They'll be similar to existing routes, with one new one called the 63X. Here are the details: 

  • MetroRAPID 48X: Northcross Express - Northcross park-and-ride
  • MetroRAPID 53X: Northlake Express - Serving the Ridge Road park-and-ride and the Northlake park-and-ride via the Lakeview Road direct connector to the toll lanes.
  • MetroRapid 63X (new): Huntersville Express - Serving the Huntersville-Gateway park-and-ride via Hambright direct connector and Statesville Road
  • MetroRAPID 77X: North Mecklenburg Express - Serving the Cornelius park-and-ride (replaces service on the 48X) and the Davidson-Gateway park-and-ride

The price will remain the same — $3 one way. CATS also is starting a new shuttle in Davidson — Route 290 — to carry riders along Concord Road between east Davidson and Main Street, where they can get the 77x bus. That will cost 90 cents one-way. The north Mecklenburg Village Riders will also continue.   
The new MetroRAPID service starts Feb. 3.

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.