CATS introduces fare capping for bus and light rail

CHARLOTTE — Thousands of people use Charlotte’s public transportation to get in and around the city each month. A new change is slashing the cost for travelers.

Representatives for the Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno in March that they planned to introduce fare capping in the CATS app in the coming months.

Instead of buying a weekly pass costing $30.80 or a one-way ticket for $2.20, Charlotte bus and light rail riders will no longer pay more than $88 a month to ride the bus and light rail.

The capped rate is a relief for folks who can’t shell out large chunks of change up front for a monthly pass and instead turn to daily tickets or weekly passes. Those purchases can add up.

Under the new policy, once a rider spends $88 in month through the CATS app, they will automatically be upgraded to the monthly pass. On the first day of the following month, riders’ fare capping will reset.

“I just think this is a great step forward for equity in Charlotte,” Transit Services Advisory Committee Chair Krissy Oechslin told Channel 9 in March.

Oechslin has been pushing for fare capping for years. She says everyone who uses the bus or light rail benefits from this new policy.

“There are a lot of folks I see on the bus every day. They are putting their $2.20 in. They are wrangling up change and I know that is not fun to do,” she said. “To have to keep doing that, especially people who have to take more than one trip a day, it adds up.”

The change didn’t require approval by Charlotte City Council.

A spokesperson said CATS fine tuned its mobile app to prepare for the launch. The capped fare was rolled out on September 21.

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