CATS

Charlotte Area Transit System, commonly known as CATS. It operates bus and rail service around the Charlotte area, including the LYNX Blue Line and the streetcar line called CityLYNX Gold Line.

Hundreds of people taunted each other on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse Saturday during separate rallies staged by two groups from outside the state.

New Transit Needs New Revenue, Says Charlotte Mayor

Jan 13, 2015
Ben Bradford / WFAE

The City of Charlotte will need to come up with more money for transit projects, Mayor Dan Clodfelter announced during his State of the City speech Tuesday morning. The city has proposed future extension of the street car and possible rail and bus lines to the north and southeast. But Clodfelter says the state won’t support those projects as it has in the past.


Charlotte Premium Outlets

Charlotte's newest shopping mall complex, Charlotte Premium Outlets, will open its doors on Thursday morning. The mall has more than 100 stores and will host a four-day grand opening that's expected to draw large crowds -- and a lot of traffic -- near Steele Creek Road and I-485 in southwest Charlotte.  

Wiki Commons

Correction: This story includes a correction. The original reported the wrong number of freight trains on Norfolk-Southern's line between Charlotte and Mooresville. 

The planned Red Line commuter rail between Charlotte and Mooresville is getting dealt a major setback. Charlotte had arrangements to share existing tracks with the Norfolk Southern Railway Company, but that’s no longer the case.

CATS

There's a lot of construction going on at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. There are also fewer parking spaces. So finding parking is not easy.   

But to make it a little easier, airport and transit officials will begin offering two new express bus routes to the airport starting Monday. 


CATS Proposes Fare Increase

Mar 19, 2014
CATS has cut some bus routes and added others so fewer riders have to pass through the Transit Center uptown.
Charlotte Area Transit System

Public transit riders may soon see the cost of a ticket go up between $.10 to $0.40 for a single fare and from $0.85 to $16.00 for a multiple use pass. Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) manager of public and community relations, Jean Leier, says the increase would help keep the current operating hours and levels of service.

"The one thing that our financial policy does is it looks at small increases every two years versus waiting many years and having to do a substantial increase that would really have a negative impact on our customers," Leier says. "You know, a twenty cent would be much different than if you waited many years and all of a sudden had to do – let's say – a dollar to two dollars."

CATS

Major construction of bridges and tracks for the blue line light rail extension will begin in the next few months. And with that, be ready to spend more time in traffic. Charlotte Area Transit System officials announced Friday that it's making a map available to give commuters a heads up on road and lane closures and turning restrictions during construction.

City Spends $12 Million In Hunt For Streetcar Grant

Jan 28, 2014
City of Charlotte

The quest for a cross-town streetcar continues. The Charlotte city council approved spending $12 million last night to pursue a federal grant to fund build-out of the streetcar.


Construction On Blue Line Extension Will Begin 2014

Dec 11, 2013
CATS

Bulldozers have been clawing at the sides of North Tryon for months now to make way for the Blue Line light rail extension.  

Construction on the blue line light rail extension is going to intensify in early 2014. CATS officials gave an update during a public workshop Tuesday night in the University area.


CATS Bus Drivers Avoid Strike, Win Pay Raise

Dec 9, 2013
CATS bus
City of Charlotte

After threatening a potential strike, the union representing CATS bus drivers has reached a tentative agreement with Transit Management of Charlotte on a new three-year labor contract. Both parties have been in negotiations since July. CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers says drivers will receive a 2.3 percent pay raise, an additional day off, bonuses based on performance and attendance.

The two sides were able to find a compromise on scheduling issues and seniority. 

kcstreetcar.org

Charlotte's streetcar project is not dead, but its future is in limbo after the city's initial federal funding application was denied.  Charlotte Area Transit System CEO Carolyn Flowers says there are other grants the streetcar may qualify for, but snagging them could require more investment from the city's taxpayers.


Charlotte B-Cycle

Starting Tuesday, there’s a cheaper way to join Charlotte’s bike sharing program, B-Cycle. The non-profit is partnering with the Charlotte Area Transit System to offer discounted memberships. 


City Produces Another Artistic Endeavor (Flash Mob)

Jun 14, 2013
Ben Bradford / WFAE

If you’re looking for music and entertainment, the Charlotte Area Transit System might not be the first place that comes to mind. But CATS is becoming quite the producer.

CORRECTION APPENDED

City Mulls Ads At Light Rail Stations

Dec 17, 2012
Charlotte Area Transit System

Perhaps it's hard to believe, but giant billboards on the sides of Charlotte buses and trains only appeared about a year ago when the city started allowing ads on transit vehicles. Now the Charlotte Area Transit System wants to go even further.  

Monday night, CATS will petition city council members for permission to sell advertising on light rail platforms. CATS Spokeswoman Jean Leier says the recession hurt transit funding.

Julie Rose

Charlotte officials say this gift from the Federal Transit Administration is the single largest federal grant the city's ever received: $580 million.

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff traveled from D.C. to bring news of what city leaders have expected for several months now.

That hasn't always been the case, though.

"This project was on life support back in 2009," says Mayor Anthony Foxx.

charmeck.org

Extending the light rail from Uptown to UNC Charlotte will cost just over $1 billion. That price tag has contributed to the project's sometimes on-again-off-again status as local, state and federal funds tighten.

But Danny Rogers - the Blue Line Extension's project manager for the city - says all the funding is nearly in place.

"Right now we're just waiting on the full-funding grant agreement - FTA recommended and has approved it, pending the congressional review," says Rogers.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Metropolitan Transit Commission will consider a request to reverse its decision allowing alcohol ads on the sides of buses and trains. Consider, yes.  But actually rescind the decision?  Not likely.

“I wouldn’t support changing the position,” says MTC member and Cornelius mayor Jeff Tarte.

Tarte says the commission will talk about the request from the Charlotte City Council at tonight’s meeting, but says the income from the ads – estimated to be nearly $600,000 annually – is too great to give up with CATS struggling to rebound from the recession.

Charlotte Area Transit System

In just a few days alcohol ads will debut on Charlotte Area Transit System buses and trains.  Those ads have gone through an additional review to make sure they don't cross the line.  

Alcohol ads are expected to earn the cash-strapped transit system $600,000 annually.  CATS has already signed two six-month contracts to promote alcohol on city buses and trains.  

But the money comes with a challenge.  The last thing CATS wants is an overly racy ad on a bus that winds through every neighborhood in the city.  

The group that represents hundreds of private bus companies wants to prevent the Charlotte Area Transit System from leasing out its buses during the DNC.

Thousands of delegates and media will be hopping on buses to get from their hotels to the main convention area. DNC organizers expect it will take about 250 450 buses to get people around. But they found they don't have enough buses to accommodate wheelchairs.

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