Dec 7, 2016 - News

The Charlotte bus system is about to get an overhaul

The Charlotte Area Transit System is preparing to launch a comprehensive review of its bus system with the goal of cutting down on ride times.

“It’s time to look at our bus system and ask some basic questions,” CATS CEO John Lewis said Monday. The organization will be looking at the 72 bus routes, their frequencies and their connections with other bus routes and with the light rail.

CATS will be using new transit planning software to do so, as well.


One of the most important changes could come with how bus riders make connections.

Right now the bus system operates in a hub and spoke model, where people take buses into Uptown’s Charlotte Transportation Center before heading back out on a second route. In most cases, these commutes take 90 minutes or more, Lewis said.

One of the key components of the new system will likely be more direct connections between suburbs and other Charlotte destinations, without forcing people to come Uptown and change buses.


“We want to make trips as short as possible and as efficient as possible,” Lewis said.


The announcement comes a year into the tenure of CEO John Lewis.

And at a time of great change for the transit system. CATS is preparing to open the Blue Line Extension light rail project in 2017.

Want to participate? Take the survey.

It’s live here through January 17.

Then CATS will begin putting together a proposal for their board, and later the Metropolitan Transit Commission.


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