May 16, 2024 - News

๐ŸšŠ Quote du jour: "Lovin' Life effect"

Crowded light rail train

A very squished light rail train headed out of Uptown, as Stevie Nicks was mid-performance in First Ward Park. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Ridership on Charlotte's Blue Line light rail increased 50% during the weekend of Lovin' Life Music Fest, Charlotte Area Transit System's top executive told business leaders during a luncheon Wednesday.

I'll have to say it's the Lovin' Life effect. Before Lovin' Life, we called it the Beyoncรฉ effect.
โ€” Interim CEO Brent Cagle at Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

Why it matters: Music legend Beyoncรฉ has become a symbol of Uptown's revival for city boosters over the past year.

  • There were 192,000 visits to Uptown on the day of her 2023 concert โ€” the most-visited Wednesday of the year.

By the numbers: About 70,000 more riders hopped on the line during Lovin' Life than a normal weekend. There was also a Charlotte FC game that Saturday.

Zoom out: Mondays and Fridays are "not surprisingly" CATS' lightest days because of the move to remote work, Cagle added. Although, on Wednesdays, passenger traffic sometimes rises above pre-COVID levels.

The big picture: As ridership is now driven more by concerts, sports and big events, CATS' mindset around public transit is shifting.


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