Saturday, March 16, marks one year since the first CATS light rail train pulled onto campus, forever changing the landscape of UNC Charlotte’s campus and its connection with the entire city of Charlotte—North Carolina’s largest and most vibrant city.
The experiences of students, faculty and staff, who now can travel between the main campus in University City and UNC Charlotte Center City in 25 minutes, demonstrate that indeed we are connected like never before. The same is true for prospective students who visit campus, 49ers fanswho ride light rail during football, basketball and baseball seasons, alumni who return to campus for events, and our business and community partners.
With nearly 30,000 students—ranking third-largest in the UNC System—the University’s campus community delivers a critical group of riders for the light rail system. Additionally, the alignment and the neighborhoods it passes through provide a unique laboratory for faculty researchers exploring how transit investments affect neighborhood change.
Here are some of the ways light rail is making an impact on the UNC Charlotte community.