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Posted: 4:29 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012
By Scott Wickersham
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Many people’s daily commute in and out of Charlotte will change during the Democratic National Convention.
The Charlotte Area Transit System is moving the transit center to a lot at the corner of Third and South Mint streets.
A worker in that area said he saw CATS performing a dry run and that what he saw has him concerned about what will happen next month.
“There's not a whole lot for room for people to be standing in line here or there,” John Burgin said.
Burgin works at Park Signs, across from what will soon be a very busy transit center. A few weeks ago, CATS did a rehearsal right outside his front door on Mint Street.
“Buses were coming north and south and stopping right here,” he said. “Looked like they were going to have a bus stop right here.”
On Wednesday, CATS confirmed new details on the plan.
About a week before the convention begins, workers will set up a huge air-conditioned tent in a parking lot with bathrooms, concession stands and ambassadors to help people find the right bus.
Buses will start rolling into the temporary transit center at 5 a.m. on Labor Day.
A dozen bus stops uptown, inside the security perimeter, will close.
On other routes, CATS expects normal service.
But what about the unexpected, like a presidential motorcade blocking roads?
“We have alternate plans in place if a bus supposed to leave at 3 and can't. We have additional buses available to make that happen,” said Olaf Kinard with CATS.
And while there will certainly be a lot of people outside Burgin's business that week, the question is, will there be any customers?
“Are you open for business that week?” Eyewitness News asked.
“Yes,” Burgin said.
“What will that be like?” Eyewitness News asked.
“It will be crazy,” Burgin said. “I'm pretty sure it’s gonna be crazy if all the people who normally ride transit come here. It’s going to be tough.”
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