Clear bags required for nighttime light rail travel this weekend

Clear bags required for nighttime light rail travel this weekend

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Among several changes for the NBA All-Star weekend, when it comes to public transit, is the requirement for bags carried through Uptown on the Lynx light rail.

There’s a new – temporary – rule. It limits what you can bring on the light rail after 5 p.m. each day, to clear bags only, if you’re travelling through Uptown.

“You’re going to see security all along the Lynx blue line," Krystel Green of the Charlotte Area Transit System says.

As the weekend approaches, so do the thousands of extra visitors headed to Uptown, and that will mean extra security, as those visitors travel through the area.

“We think we’re going to have many people out here," Green says.

Everyone who rides the light rail will be stopped at the Third and Seventh Street stations.

“Everyone will be required to get off of the train, so that there can be a security sweep," Green says.

During that security sweep, if you have a bag that is not see-through, you can’t get back on.

Some riders get it.

“Just the specific climate we live in, we should take necessary precautions just in case," Eric Figueroa says.

But not everyone agrees with the rule.

“I really think it’s overkill," Melissa Davis says. "I get it’s for our safety, but I don’t think they prepared enough to have people come and enjoy themselves without feeling the frustration.”

At the same time, if all these riders need clear bags, someone will benefit.

“There’s been a demand for these bags," Chelsey Penner at the Pink Hanger boutique says. "And with that, [the designers] had to kind of keep up.”

The Charlotte boutique carries an entire line of these, called “Policy” handbags. It’s a business move, pairing fashion with the changing times.

“The way that we’re headed with safety concerns, when you have a big event like this, it’s totally worth it," Penner says.

There is potential the system could slow things down a bit along the light rail. CATS says the normal time a train is stopped at the station is 30 seconds. These sweeps will take up to three minutes.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.