Using Light Rail

light rail map

just show and go

Light rail privileges are tied to your 49er ID Card, so that means you don’t have to have a ticket to board. Just show your card if asked by a fare inspector on the train. Be prepared to show your card each time you ride. On a bus, just tap your card on the contactless card reader on the fare box. No pass is needed for the uptown trolleys. 

Please note: Eventually, all train cars also will be equipped with contactless card readers. When this happens, you will tap and go on the light rail, too. 

cats all-access transit pass

Students have a CATS all-access pass tied to their 49er ID Card for unlimited rides on the CATS LYNX light rail, trolley, Special Transportation Service (STS), local and express bus routes, including the Airport Connector. For students, a $25 inclusion in the Transportation Miscellaneous Service Charge covers the CATS all-access pass. To purchase the same privileges through CATS, it would cost $88 per month.

Faculty and staff have the option to purchase the same pass, but must opt-in to purchase for $75 per year or $50 per semester.

CATS all-access transit passes are now available for purchase through Parking and Transportation Services.

Note: CATS Special Transportation Service (STS) provides door-to-door transit services within Charlotte's city limits and the towns of Matthews and Pineville for individuals with disabilities certified as eligible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). STS service requires user registration and CATS approval before being eligible to ride.  This process takes 30 days on average to complete.


The LYNX Blue Line operates seven days a week. Weekday service is from 4:50 AM to 2:00 AM.

During weekdays, a train will be available every eight minutes during peak hours, every 15 minutes during non-peak hours and every 20 minutes during late-night hours, meaning you will see a train on campus 107 times each day. During weekends, Saturday service operates every 15 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during late-night hours. Sunday service operates every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during late-night hours. The full LYNX Blue Line schedule can be found here.