Come June, a shuttle bus that runs between Matthews and Mint Hill will be no more.
The Charlotte Area Transit System added the service in May 2011 but will cancel the four-day-a-week Route 94 due to low ridership, officials said.
The fate of the shuttle service was just one upcoming change CATS officials discussed with area residents during a public meeting Monday, Feb. 25, at the Matthews Library. The hot topic of the evening, however, was how construction to transform Independence Boulevard into an expressway will affect routes running near Matthews and Mint Hill.
The system also plans to add a new bus route along N.C. 51 from Carolina Place Mall in Pineville to Independence Boulevard in Matthews in June, thanks to a grant.
CATS opened the shuttle route thanks to a two-year $500,000 state grant – which included $166,000 to buy a new bus. In March 2012 the shuttle served an average of 140 passengers per month, according to CATS officials interviewed then by the Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly. Current ridership numbers weren’t available by press time. It was unclear at press time how the shuttle bus will be used.
Residents who attended Monday’s meeting, however, were more concerned about other changes coming to the CATS system.
Routes along Independence Boulevard will soon change as the road undergoes construction and becomes an expressway. According to CATS employee Pamela White, as Independence becomes busier with more traffic and higher speeds the state will no longer allow CATS buses and shuttles to stop in some locations along the major road leading from Matthews and Mint Hill to uptown Charlotte.
Some stops along Independence will be removed as construction on the expressway begins, but CATS will work to keep all stops open as long as possible until North Carolina regulations require them to close certain stops, White said.
For more information about upcoming route changes, call 704-336-7433 or visit www.ridetransit.org.