CATS’ board approves major changes to bus routes

Ready for faster, more direct bus service with new opportunities to transfer between routes outside of Uptown? Big changes are coming in less than a month!

At their August meeting, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) board members unanimously approved changes to 21 bus routes. The changes will take effect on October 1st.

After decades with no changes, Route 8 will be streamlined and extended to better serve more riders.

After decades with no changes, Route 8 will be streamlined and extended to better serve more riders.

The biggest change in decades

This is the second phase of CATS’ Envision My Ride effort to transform the current “spoke and hub” bus network (which necessitates Uptown transfers for many riders) towards a more grid-like network with transfer opportunities along more routes. The first phase happened in March when CATS optimized many bus routes three days after the opening of the LYNX Blue Line Extension. This October’s changes will be the most transformational in decades! The focus of this second phase is on improving the structure of the transit network. The third phase of increasing service frequency will require more hours of service and therefore additional funding.

Many riders will experience changes to their daily trip, so it’s a good idea to check the adjustments. There will be new routes, discontinued routes, and routes that will have portions of their length combined with other routes. Here are a few of the more notable changes:

  • A new service, Route 21, on Statesville Avenue
  • Local and limited stop service on some routes, allowing riders to choose between a “Quick” end-to-end ride with stops only at high ridership stops along the way, or connectivity to all stops along the way (see Route 7 as an example)
  • 10-minute frequency of service on Route 8 Tuckaseegee, as a mitigation for some riders having to walk farther to stops due to the route being straightened out
  • A strong focus on connection to economic opportunity, including Route 10 connectivity for clients of Dove’s Nest who need to access a job site in the early morning hours

Curious if a route near you is changing? Visit CATS’ Envision My Ride page for detailed maps, explanations of changes, and new destinations for some of the routes. CATS is also engaging riders at the Charlotte Transportation Center, on buses, at public meetings, and by placing informational signs at stops along routes that will be changing.

Join us for a deeper dive

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore several of the specific route changes in more detail here on the blog. We’ll also share what CATS and CDOT are doing to ensure a safer experience for people who reach their stops on foot or by bike.

If you’d like to learn more about how transit decisions are made in Mecklenburg County, join Sustain Charlotte staff as we attend the monthly Metropolitan Transit Commission meetings. They’re held on the fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5:30pm in Room 267 of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center. Learn more!

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