CATS streetcar service to stay free for Charlotte passengers due to reliability issues

The streetcar operates every 20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 12:27 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte’s streetcar service will continue to be free for passengers due to reliability issues at the time.

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will continue to operate fare-free streetcar service on the CityLYNX Gold Line through the new year.

CATS officials say this is because of the nationwide labor shortage, causing the transportation system to struggle meeting the frequency initially set.

Until more reliable service is provided, the streetcar will continue to operate for free. The service was initially set to stop being free in Jan. 2022.

The new way of getting around Charlotte began operation on Aug, 30, 2021 when CATS began passenger service on its CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar.

The streetcar operates every 20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

The phase 2 project extended the existing streetcar tracks by 2.5 miles on the east and west ends of the line, connecting the Historic West End to the Elizabeth neighborhood through uptown Charlotte.

CATS is operating a fleet of five modern streetcar vehicles. Designed with Siemens hybrid technology, the streetcar vehicles operate off-wire through the heart of uptown, maintaining a catenary-free zone.

CATS is urging those who drive, walk, bike or live near the streetcar alignment to become familiar with the rules of streetcar safety. While in service, the streetcar will continue to utilize horns and bells to communicate with pedestrians and motorists, according to CATS officials.

CATS staff is working diligently to hire and train additional rail operators.

As a City of Charlotte employee, CATS Rail Operators would receive first-class training and excellent benefits – all while serving the community.

Interested candidates can call 704-336-7433(RIDE) or visit to apply.

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