CATS Proposes Fare Increase

Mar 19, 2014
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."


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.

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 Area Transit System

Transportation is a big issue in Charlotte - so is funding it. Officials are exploring financing options for the really big, really expensive 2030 Transit Plan. As a result of the recession, there is a $3 billion gap in funding for the long-term plan that has left some, like Charlotte City Council member David Howard to claim "if we don’t do something different, this 2030 or 2035 Plan is going to be more like a 2080 Plan." He is Committee Co-Chair, along with Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain of a 30-member transit funding working group formed at the behest of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (who has been nominated as Transportation Secretary) to explore possible options to help fund $4 billion worth of projects. They join us to share their findings. The future and funding challenges of Charlotte's transit plan, when Charlotte Talks.

Julie Rose

April 1 marked the beginning of Ron Carlee's tenure as Charlotte City Manager, the first person from out of town to hold the position in more than 30 years. Mr. Carlee brings experience both as a former county manager (Arlington Co., Virginia) and as the COO of the International City/ County Management Association, where he was able to see the operations of cities all over the world. We'll sit down with Mr. Carlee and Mayor Anthony Foxx to talk about how he plans to tackle the city budget, transit and the streetcar debate, the airport situation, and the day-to-day operations of the city, when Charlotte Talks.

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.

If you ride the bus in Concord and Kannapolis, you’ll soon be seeing some big changes. The cities’ joint bus system called Rider Transit will be getting eight new hybrid-electric buses with free WiFi hotspots. There will also be service on Sundays starting in October 2013 and several improvements to bus stops, including a doubling of the number of shelters, solar-powered street lights and improved security system.

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.

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.