|Locale||Charlotte/Metrolina, North Carolina|
|Transit type||Bus and Light Rail (as LYNX)|
|Number of lines||30 local, 15 express|
|Daily ridership||20,875,635 a year (2004)|
|Operator(s)||Government of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (Charmeck)|
The Charlotte Area Transit System, commonly referred to as CATS, is the public transit system in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. The Charlotte metropolitan area (also Metrolina, Metro Charlotte, or Charlotte USA) is a Metropolitan area / Region of North North Carolina ( is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States For specific light rail systems many of which use the words "light rail" as part of their name see List of light-rail transit systems. Mecklenburg County is a County located in the US state of North Carolina. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the It operates bus service around the Metrolina area and a historical trolley in Uptown Charlotte, and operates a light rail system, called LYNX which opened on November 24th, 2007. The Charlotte metropolitan area (also Metrolina, Metro Charlotte, or Charlotte USA) is a Metropolitan area / Region of North LYNX comprises a light rail line serviced by the Charlotte Area Transit System in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
Keith Parker is the head of CATS, replacing Ronald J. Tober in late 2007. On August 19th, 2007 the Charlotte Observer revealed that mass transit on Charlotte's existing bus-only system has increased ridership by 66% since 1998, but its operating budget had increased by 170% after adjusting for inflation. 
CATS bus service serves Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, with service in Charlotte, Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius, Matthews, Pineville, and Mint Hill. Mecklenburg County is a County located in the US state of North Carolina. For Davidson County North Carolina click here Davidson is a town in Iredell and Mecklenburg counties in the U Huntersville is a town in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States. Cornelius is a town in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States. Geography Matthews is located at (35116851 -80716409 According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14 Pineville is a town in Mecklenburg County North Carolina located between Charlotte and York County South Carolina. Mint Hill is a town in Mecklenburg and Union counties in the U
Express buses in the CATS system serve Union County, Lincoln County, Concord, Gastonia, and Mooresville, North Carolina, and Rock Hill, South Carolina. Union County is a County located in the US state of North Carolina. Lincoln County is a County located in the US state of North Carolina. Concord (kän-kord is a city in the US state of North Carolina. Gastonia is a city in North Carolina, United States. It is the County seat of Gaston County. Mooresville is a town in Iredell County, North Carolina, USA. Rock Hill is the largest city in York County South Carolina, and a Satellite city of Charlotte North Carolina
Within uptown Charlotte, there is a heritage trolley, the Charlotte Trolley. The Charlotte Trolley is a Heritage streetcar which operates in Charlotte in the U The 2-mile trolley route runs on a railroad right-of-way, which will later be used by the new light rail line. The trolley uses a vintage car, the only remaining original electric trolley car in operation in Charlotte, and is operated between the non-profit organization, Charlotte Trolley Inc. , and the City of Charlotte.
CATS also operates the Special Transportation Service (STS) which provides transportation to people with disabilities certified as eligible based on the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. STS provides service during the same times and in the same locations as the fixed route bus service.
Some former politicians argued that the Lynx System was a waste and would not meet daily ridership projections of 9,100. They collected enough signatures from registered voters to initiate a transit tax repeal which appeared on the November 2007 ballot. The repeal referendum was soundly defeated by the public. The former politicians that initiated the repeal have not been heard from publicly since the vote. Lynx has average well over 12,000 rides per day since opening. Ridership continues to climb as NC gas prices soar.
The CATS system experienced an all time high during February 2008, when riders took more than 2 million trips on its services; an average of 79,000 daily rides. Not since the late 1940's has ridership surpassed 2 million in a month.
CATS operates 200 buses in the fleet. The transit system is the largest in operation between Atlanta, Georgia (MARTA) and Washington, D.C. (Metro). Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ( WMATA) is a tri-jurisdictional Government agency authorized by Congress, that operates transit
On November 24th, 2007, the first light rail line—a 9. LYNX comprises a light rail line serviced by the Charlotte Area Transit System in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. 6-mile (15. 5-km) line known as the Lynx Blue Line— opened. It runs between Uptown Charlotte and stop short of Pineville, using a railroad right-of-way paralleling South Boulevard in its entirety. The line has 15 stations, it shares trackage with the Charlotte Trolley from the Atherton Mill station to the 7th Street station. The Charlotte Trolley is a Heritage streetcar which operates in Charlotte in the U
Subsequently expected to open is a light rail line to the northeast. It will open in phases, with the first phase to reach 36th Street in 2013 and the second phase to reach I-485, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in 2018. 2013 ( MMXIII) will be a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (also known as UNC Charlotte or Charlotte) is a public coeducational research intensive university located in 2018 ( MMXVIII) will be a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. The corridor will be 14 miles (22. 4 km) long, with 14 stations.
On February 22, 2006, the Charlotte Area Transit System announced that its rapid rail lines will be called the "Lynx. " (Lynx system map). The name fits in with the city’s cat theme (NFL team is Carolina Panthers; NBA team is Charlotte Bobcats, as well "Lynx" was mainly chosen because the light rail is about "connectivity. The National Football League ( NFL) is the largest professional American football league. The Carolina Panthers are a professional football team based in Charlotte North Carolina, representing both North Carolina and South Carolina in the The Charlotte Bobcats are a professional Basketball team based in Charlotte North Carolina. "
The rapid rail cars will be black, silver and blue. Gold will appear around the "Lynx" logo to tie in the history of the Charlotte region being home to the first major U. S. Gold Rush. A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers into the area of a dramatic discovery of commercial quantities of Gold.
A commuter rail line is also planned. It will go from Uptown to the northern suburbs of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, and Mooresville.
Modern streetcars are also planned, with a circulator route around uptown as well as routes radiating out of downtown.
Bus rapid transit is also being examined by CATS for corridors. Bus rapid transit ( BRT) is a broad term given to a variety of transportation systems that through improvements to infrastructure vehicles and scheduling attempt to use It was originally slated to be on the Southeast Corridor to Matthews and the West Corridor to the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport; however, the SE Corridor is expected to be a light rail line and the West Corridor to the airport could either be a BRT or streetcar line. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a public International airport located in Charlotte North Carolina.
Source: National Transit Database'
For the Charlotte area, the 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan is now projected to cost $8. 9 billion, out of a total of $12. 7 billion for all transportation projects slated for the Charlotte region (MUMPO 2030 Long Range Plan and 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan) while providing a viable means of transportation for just 2-3% of the Charlotte region's travel needs, and 1% of all regional travel, according to Dr. David Hartgen, PhD, and professor of Transportation Policy Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (also known as UNC Charlotte or Charlotte) is a public coeducational research intensive university located in  
In addition, Charlotte barely won approval for Federal funding for LYNX, just before the Federal government raised its projected ridership requirements to receive Federal funding for light rail. Since that time, ridership estimates for LYNX have been revised down, and cost estimates have been revised upwards. Costs will likely only to continue to rise as the overwhelming majority of cities that have bus-only, versus bus and rail systems, overwhelmingly have higher costs on all of the following measures: vehicle mile, vehicle revenue mile, vehicle hour, and ridership. Lastly, since federal funding for rail was approved, and a local half-cent sales tax for mass transit approved in 1998, ridership on CATS' bus system has increased 52%, but costs have increased 234%, or about 70% when adjusted for inflation. And bus fare subsidy was nearly doubled from 14% to 26. 7% of its total operating budget.  
The light rail system and the half-cent sales tax used to fund transit operations have been subject to controversy as local anti-rail forces successfully placed a repeal of the tax on the November 2007 ballot. The half-cent tax measure, almost half of which funds light rail construction, came up for possible repeal in the November 2007 general election. Those opposed to the sales tax and to local rail transit generally are not opposed to mass transit in general. Many assert a “bus-only” system will serve Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and the taxpayer, well. In addition, they assert that if the entire transit plan is implemented, it will serve a relatively small percentage of commuters, and even tinier percentage of all regional travel. Pro-rail advocates assert that this is an overly conservative short-term estimate that disregards significant long-term benefits.
Pro-rail forces argue that Charlotte needs high-capacity mass transit infrastructure to lessen the burden of traffic congestion on area residents by offering a viable alternative to driving, to improve quality of life by spurring high-quality and high-amenity mixed use development in existing communities and along new transit corridors that caters to pedestrians and bicyclists in addition to automobiles. Pro-rail forces believe rail will lessen the pressure on roads, schools, and other public services on the urban-rural fringe by steering more development inward and upward, rather than solely outward in conventional, low-density, automobile-dependent sprawl.
Wendell Cox, a conservative commentator on planning policy, states that the Charlotte area ranks as one of the least favorable candidates for light rail nationwide because of its low population density. Wendell Cox is an international public policy consultant He is the principal (and sole owner of Wendell Cox Consultancy (Demographia based in the St Rail advocates counter that transportation investments shape surrounding land uses, and thus a high-capacity rail network in Charlotte would indeed increase density in the areas it serves. Local anti-rail folks question the legitimacy of levying a regressive tax (a sales tax), that affects lower income people more than higher income people, for the purposes of subsidizing urban development along narrow rail corridors. 
After much debate, Mecklenburg County voters rejected the repeal of the transportation tax by a margin of 70 percent to 30 percent on November 6, 2007. Events 355 - Roman Emperor Constantius II promotes his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with  The campaign to save the tax garnered more than $650,000 - of which at least one third (more than $200,000) came from powerful area corporate special interests such as: Duke Energy, Wachovia, Bank of America, McDonald Transit Associates, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Siemens (German company that builds the light rail cars) - and more than 20 other known major businesses, all of which are companies that directly or indirectly profit from CATS operations. The group working to repeal the transit tax raised less than $13,000, mostly from individuals.