CATS to integrate on-demand services, expand to low-income neighborhoods

The hope is that this initiative will reduce travel time and address a need in the community.
CATS could soon launch an Uber-like service in Charlotte.
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 9:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It may soon be easier for low-income bus riders to get where they need to be.

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is set to receive $750,000 to expand their services into disadvantaged neighborhoods.

They announced the grant this week. The money, which is from the Federal Transit Administration and is part of the American Rescue Plan, is designed to help transit agencies recoup from the pandemic, will fund their new “Microtransit program.”

It’s a project meant to integrate on-demand services into those neighborhoods to make it easier to get to the transit center or popular bus routes.

CATS would potentially operate some of those services, and they’re also looking into partnerships with both ride-share companies and bike and scooter services.

The hope is that this initiative will reduce travel time and fix existing issues everyday riders say they’ve experienced.

“You have to be out here sometimes two hours ahead of time trying to wait on a bus,” rider Craig Alston said. “And the areas that they go into, they might not even have buses running, so you have to walk a long way.”

CATS emphasized that this is all very new and they still have to work out specifics, but the goal is to get started on this work in the fiscal year 2023, which starts in July.

Related: Thousands of “ghost buses” don’t show up for CATS riders

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