Frequently Asked Questions

How much will it cost for students, faculty and staff to use light rail?

The University is working to finalize access pass plans.  The current draft would give students unlimited access to the entire LYNX light rail through the use of the next edition of UNC Charlotte I.D. cards (scheduled to be distributed Spring Semester, 2017). Access technology will be embedded into the new I.D. cards. Students would pay around $25 per semester for unlimited use of the light rail and CATS city routes (with the exception of the express routes) in Charlotte.

The draft plan would also include an option for faculty and staff members to pay around $50 per year for unlimited access to light rail & city buses (with the exception of the express routes), possibly through payroll deduction.

What times will the light rail run to and from campus?

The LYNX Blue Line currently operates seven days a week. Weekday service is from 5:26 AM to 1:26 AM. Once the BLE is complete, a train will be available every 7.5 minutes during weekday rush hour and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours. Weekend service operates every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during late night hours.

How will campus shuttles be affected by light rail?

The campus shuttle routing will be revised to include regular stops at the UNC Charlotte Main Station and at the CRI deck near the JW Clay/ UNC Charlotte Station. There will be a campus shuttle at the UNC Charlotte Main Station around every 5 minutes. Campus shuttles will also extend hours to include late night, weekend and summer service.

How will CATS bus routes be affected by light rail?

CATS is finalizing a new bus system and schedule in northern Charlotte that will align buses with LYNX station stops.  CATS will present these changes to the public closer to the opening of the BLE.

What are the benefits of light rail for students who live on campus?

The benefits for residential students are huge. You will have unlimited access to all points along the light rail from campus to Pineville without having to use a car. You will have a safe means of travel with consistent travel times that aren’t subject to traffic jams that occur on campus and off campus. You’ll have a simpler means of traveling to work, internships, and entertainment venues that are located close to rail stops in NoDa, Uptown South End and other popular locations.

How will the light rail affect campus safety and security, especially for the North Village area?

The LYNX Blue Light has proven to be very safe ever since it debuted in 2007. The Charlotte Area Transit System provides safety and security --including video cameras -- on the trains, parking decks and park-and-ride locations. UNC Charlotte’s Police & Public Safety Department patrols on campus and off campus within a mile. UNC Charlotte studied other cities and universities with light rail service and that data indicates that light rail does NOT attract crime or criminals. Overwhelmingly, light rail users who come to campuses are coming for legitimate reasons -- to do business, enjoy athletic and arts events, use our library and botanical gardens and to peaceably and lawfully enjoy our campus. Remember, UNC Charlotte is a public university and our campus is open to whomever wishes to visit.

How do I get regular updates on the CATS light rail and bus system?

Your can download the Ride CATS app developed by the Charlotte Area Transit System. It is available at the Apple Store and Google Play. You also can sign get updates through @BLEupdates on Twitter. You can find other options at Updates from CATS.

Will the general public be parking on campus to use the light rail -- taking spaces for students, faculty and staff?

As students, faculty and staff know, there is no free parking on the UNC Charlotte campus. CATS expects that the off-campus parking deck at the J.W. Clay UNC Charlotte Station has ample space for the general public. Near the UNC Charlotte Main Station, visitor parking is NOT allowed in Lot 25 or North Deck, but some visitor parking is available in Lot 26.

Is the UNC Charlotte Main Station the end of the line for light rail, or will it be expanded?

The original vision for the Blue Line Extension included the line continuing off campus northward toward the Charlotte Motor Speedway. That proved cost-prohibitive during the last several years. UNC Charlotte will reserve certain areas of campus for the potential future expansion of the light rail, but expansion is not currently planned.