Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the stations that provide service to UNC Charlotte located?

The UNC Charlotte Main Station is located along Cameron Boulevard at Wallis Hall (near North Deck). The other stations include J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte at North Tryon Street and Ninth Street (beside UNC Charlotte Center City).

When will light rail open?

The exact light rail opening date is still being determined; however, passenger service is expected by March 31, 2018.

What kind of pass will students and employees have?

All students will receive a CATS all-access pass for unlimited, fare-free rides on the CATS LYNX light rail, trolley, Special Transportation Service (STS) and buses. Faculty and staff will have the option to purchase the same pass. Your CATS privileges are on your 49er ID Card. Just tap on and tap off to ride.

How much will the pass cost?

The cost to students will be $25 per semester for unlimited use of the CATS light rail, trolley, Special Transportation Service (STS), local bus routes and express bus routes including the Airport Connector. The cost will be included in students’ Miscellaneous Transportation Service Charge.

Faculty and staff members can opt in and purchase the service for $75 per year.

When will people be charged for the pass?

Students will not be charged until light rail service begins. Similarly, employees will not be charged until they opt in for the purchase.

Will students or employees with an all-access pass still need a ticket to ride?

No, light rail privileges are tied to your 49er ID Card. That means you don’t have to have a ticket to board. Just tap your card at a reader installed on the cars when you enter and exit. You can do the same on a bus, just tap your card on the contactless card reader on the fare box. Please note: You must tap on when entering a train or bus and tap off when exiting to avoid incurring a $50 fine from CATS.

Can all-access passes be purchased for family or friends?

No, only UNC Charlotte students and employees are eligible for the all-access passes. There will be ticket machines at the stations where others may purchase tickets or you can use the CATS Pass- Mobile Ticketing App to purchase your ticket using your smart phone.

What is the University doing about safety at the new light rail station on campus?

Campus safety is a top priority. CATS is working closely with UNC Charlotte’s police department and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on the safety of light rail passengers. In addition to the safety measures already in place by CATS – like advanced, state-of-the-art cameras and security officers on trains – the University is taking additional steps to accommodate light rail’s arrival on campus. Security cameras, extra lighting and blue light phones are installed at the station on campus. Additional police officers have been hired and will be assigned to patrol the area, especially during peak travel times and at night.

What will bus service be like from the light rail station on campus?

When you get off the train at the UNC Charlotte Main Station, the all-new Niner Transit bus system will deliver you to your destination on campus.

For access to campus from the J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte Station, a campus bus is available at the CRI Parking Deck.

Is light rail accessible?

CATS has worked to ensure all light rail stations and trains are accessible for people with disabilities. Plans are underway to provide accessible means to and from the campus station, including accessible pedestrian pathways.

On campus, Niner ParaTransit provides scheduled and on-demand disability transport for those with mobility impairments who are registered for the service. Designated pick-up and drop-off points are located all around campus as close as possible to accessible building entrances.

Besides walking or riding the bus, is there another way to get from the light rail station to campus?

Yes! The University’s new bike-share program, Charlotte Wheels, is available for your use, with 10 hubs across campus.