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.

Construction On Blue Line Extension Will Begin 2014

Dec 11, 2013

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
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.

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.


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.

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.