Officials approve $700K study on public transportation on future toll lanes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Area Transit System officials approved a $780,000 study to look at providing public transportation on the future Interstate 77 toll lanes.

The plan is called Bus Rapid Transit, and the study will outline how far the bus service will run on I-77 and will also map out locations for stops and park-and-rides.

CATS CEO John Lewis said this will allow drivers to take advantage of the toll lanes.

“Rather than pay the toll yourself, we will pay,” Lewis said. “We have access to the toll lanes. You will pay a much lower fare to ride the bus.”

CATS would still like to install a commuter rail, known as the Red Line, in that corridor. Lewis said that is the ultimate goal.

The commuter rail has been discussed for years. It's a 25-mile project that would stretch from Mount Mourne to uptown Charlotte. There's still a long way to go with the project, but some Lake Norman residents told Channel 9 that they would be open to using it.

"At least if you're on the train, you're not going to be congested with all that traffic," resident Mary Spann said.

The future of the I-77 toll lane project is in question. A state representative told Channel 9 he plans to introduce a bill to cancel the contract. Read more about that here.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: