Using Light Rail

What stations provide access to UNC Charlotte?

The new light rail stations, Ninth Street (beside UNC Charlotte Center City), J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte at North Tryon Street and the UNC Charlotte Main Station along Cameron Boulevard at Wallis Hall (near North Deck), will bring the convenience of light rail to the University doorstep.

Train Schedule

Currently, the LYNX Blue Line operates seven days a week. Weekday service is from 5:26 AM to 1:26 AM.

Once the LYNX Blue Line Extension is complete, a train will be available every 7.5 minutes during weekday rush hour and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours, meaning you will see a train on campus 107 times each day. Weekend service operates every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during late-night hours.

The final CATS schedule will be available when the extension opens.


Parking on campus requires a UNC Charlotte parking permit. There is no visitor parking available at the UNC Charlotte Main Station. To park on campus and take the light rail you must have a valid UNC Charlotte parking permit.


In keeping with the University’s commitment to diversity and accessibility, 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 locations are located all around campus as close as possible to accessible building entrances. For more information, visit the Parking and Transportation Services websites.

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

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.

How do I ride?

Access technology has been embedded into the new 49er ID cards. To ride light rail, students and employees with an access pass can simply tap their 49er ID card at contactless readers installed in each rail car when boarding and again when they disembark.

For CATS buses, individuals with an access pass can tap their 49er ID card on the contactless reader on the fare box when they enter the bus.

How will campus buses be affected by light rail?

Niner Transit, the campus transit system, is all new for 2017-18. Campus transit will extend hours to include late night, weekend and summer service. You can catch a campus bus 21 hours during weekdays and 18 hours on the weekends.

Niner Campus Bus Service will have stops at the UNC Charlotte Main Station approximately every eight minutes during peak hours. For access to campus from the J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte Station, a campus bus is available at the CRI parking deck. Download the UNCCNextRide app to get live bus tracking. More information is available at the Parking and Transportation Services website.


Campus safety is a top priority. 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.