By DAVID BORAKS
With the Dec. 30 demise of Mooresville’s 83x commuter bus to Charlotte, area transit officials are planning for an influx of riders on the 77x bus, which runs to and from Davidson. Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is adding a park-and-ride location off I-77 Exit 30 to accommodate additional riders on the 77x.
Commuter parking spaces will be available on Lake Cornelius Boulevard and Davidson Gateway Drive, off Griffith Street behind the Davidson Clinic building. CATS said it plans to re-route the North Meck 77x bus to serve the new park and ride location during the morning and evening rush hours.
Existing stops and park-and-ride areas, including along Griffith Street near Sadler Square shopping center, will remain in use.
Mooresville’s town board voted in October to end the town’s $25,208 subsidy for the 83x, which transported commuters from Mooresville to Charlotte in the mornings and back to Mooresville in the evenings.
The 83x has carried 120 riders a day – 60 inbound and 60 outbound passengers. CATS believes about two-thirds will ride the 77x from Davidson, spokeswoman Azania Z. Herron said Monday.
The 77x currently makes 14 morning rush-hour trips between 5:30 and 9 a.m. and 13 return trips during afternoon rush hour from 3 to 6:30 p.m. The bus also runs less frequently during the day. (See a schedule, CLICK HERE>) It averages 702 daily riders on weekdays.
The streets – Lake Cornelius Boulevard, Gateway Crossing Drive and Davidson Gateway Drive – surround a vacant lot behind the Davidson Clinic. Davidson Economic Development Manager Kris Krider said CATS approached the town about four to six weeks ago seeking potential sites for a new park-and-ride lot.
“We brainstormed, and came up with two or three different alternatives,” Mr. Krider said. “They really liked to this one because of access to the interstate. And it doesn’t have a negative impact on downtown.”
If the location proves popular, CATS may be able to expand it, as well, Mr. Krider said. He hoped the potential addition of commuters to the area might have a side benefit of helping retail businesses in the area, including the Rusher Market and gas station, which will open early in the new year at Davidson Gateway Drive and Griffith Street.
CATS and the town are discussing possible improvements to the streets, including painting parking stripes where needed and installing a bus shelter.
Mr. Krider said there’s no formal written agreement with CATS, since the park-and-ride uses only public streets.
CATS POSTS HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
SOURCE: Charlotte Area Transit System
On Friday, December 24, 2010 the Charlotte Area Transit System will operate buses and trains according to its Saturday schedule in observance of the Christmas Eve holiday. No express service will operate on that day except for 79X Concord Mills Express which will operate according to its regular Saturday schedule.
On Saturday, December 25, 2010 the Charlotte Area Transit System will operate buses and trains according to its Sunday schedule in observance of the Christmas Day holiday.
On Friday, December 24th and Saturday, December 25th, CATS Pass Sales offices at the CTC and the CATS Call Center will be closed. On Monday, December 27th, the CATS call center and pass sales offices will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
On Friday, December 31, 2010 the Charlotte Area Transit System will operate buses and trains according to its Saturday schedule in observance of the New Year’s Eve holiday. No express service will operate on that day except for 79X Concord Mills Express which will operate according to its regular Saturday schedule. The last buses (select routes only) and the LYNX Blue Line light rail service will depart from the Charlotte Transportation Center at 1:30 a.m. in support of First Night activities in Uptown.
On Friday, December 31st and Saturday, January 1st, CATS Pass Sales offices at the CTC and the CATS Call Center will be closed in observance of the holiday.
Also on December 31, 2010, extra trips will operate on the LYNX Blue Line light rail system to provide service to fans attending the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Service will run approximately every ten minutes before the game, and extra trains will be ready to take fans back to their cars after the game.
On Saturday, January 1, 2011 the Charlotte Area Transit System will operate buses and trains according to its Sunday schedule in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday.