The Charlotte Area Transit System wants to expand light rail, which would likely require at least a penny sales tax increase.

That means buy-in from Raleigh and likely county voters. In the meantime, CATS has been losing thousands of bus riders.


Police have arrested a man in the Monday afternoon shooting of a transit bus driver in uptown Charlotte.

CATS Blue Line train

People who need to commute between Charlotte and Fort Mill or Rock Hill currently have the option of Charlotte transit bus service that makes limited runs during rush hours. But another idea, a light rail system has been gaining attention in recent months.

CATS CEO John Lewis announced the bus system overhaul at the Transit Center uptown Tuesday.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte Area Transit System CEO John Lewis addressed criticism of the decision to avoid the heart of uptown in plans for a tunnel that would take riders to the airport. He spoke Monday on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks.

David Boraks / WFAE

The Charlotte Area Transit System said Monday that the Republican National Convention in August 2020 at the Spectrum Center will require all streetcar construction to cease for 60 to 90 days, and will likely push the opening of the Gold Line's second phase to early 2021.

Steve Harrison/WFAE

As the first leader of the Charlotte Area Transit System, Ron Tober opened the Lynx Blue Line in 2007.

Tober is now a contractor for the consultant firm WSP, which recently advised CATS on how to finish its 2030 transit plan. WSP gave CATS  options for how to bring an east-west light-rail line through the center city.

Map shows the proposed route of the Lynx Silver Line light rail (purple) from uptown to the airport and Gaston County.
Charlotte Area Transit System

The board that oversees Charlotte Area Transit System has given formal approval to a revised 2030 System Plan, including a rail line to the airport.  

CATS lost about $3.2 million in state funding for public transit in the new state budget.

The Charlotte Area Transit System Monday is implementing changes on several of its bus routes. For example, the Route 3 bus in north Charlotte will now give riders a direct connection to the LYNX Blue Line 36th Street Station.

City of Charlotte

The Charlotte-area transit system is busy these days planning for the region’s mass transit future. Last week, CATS unveiled updates to its 2030 transit plan, including the proposed development of new rail lines to points north, south, east and west across Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

David Boraks / WFAE

The Charlotte Area Transit System unveiled Wednesday new details about its 2030 transit plan, which includes linking two new light-rail lines through uptown and expanding bus-rapid transit along Interstate 77.

The Gold Line phase 2 project adds stops west of uptown and east of the current terminus at Hawthorne Avenue and Fifth Street.

Construction has halted on the Hawthorne Avenue bridge over Independence Boulevard that's part of the city's Gold Line streetcar extension project. Charlotte Area Transit system says steel girders were made the wrong size.

Steve Harrison

When Charlotte Area Transit System was building the $1.1 billion light rail extension, the transit system projected the entire 19-mile line would carry about 33,500 passengers on a weekday, in the first year. The train is supposed to keep increasing passengers each year after that.

Charlotte Fire Department responded to a multi-vehicle accident involving a CATS bus Wednesday morning.
Charlotte Fire Department / Twitter

The Charlotte Fire Department responded to a multi-vehicle accident involving a CATS bus near uptown Wednesday morning. 

David Boraks / WFAE

After more than four years of construction, 36th Street reopened Thursday evening between North Tryon and North Davidson streets in the NoDa neighborhood.

A tree and utility line remain down on a street in Plaza Midwood.
Sarah Delia / WFAE

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
It could be a week before full light rail and streetcar service is restored in Charlotte, due to damage caused by Hurricane Michael last Thursday. Meanwhile, the city says at least 50 streets remain completely or partially blocked. 

View from a train at 36th Street Station in NoDa
David Boraks / WFAE

A street connecting two busy north Charlotte roads in NODA will remain closed at least through October 31.


The Charlotte Area Transit System will make service adjustments on more than 20 bus routes, changing the transit schedule for those routes beginning Oct.1.

Crystal Hogue / WFAE

It's been five months since the light rail extension debuted in north Charlotte. The $1.2 billion project was heralded as the future of Charlotte transportation and a step toward avoiding traffic congestion. But some drivers say the extension has made traffic worse, particularly along North Tryon Street. 

A Lynx Blue Line Train at 9th Street Station uptown. CATS is trying to figure out how to pay for expanding the transit system north, west and southeast of uptown.
David Boraks / WFAE

The head of Charlotte Area Transit System says property owners and other private partners will be needed to help pay for the estimated $6-8 billion in transit projects he wants to complete by 2030.

A conceptual drawing of what the Gateway Station could look like, from a November study.
Charlotte Area Transit System

City officials say they'll will seek proposals later this summer for a mixed-use "station district" development next to passenger rail tracks now under construction uptown.  A private developer could be chosen by the end of the year.