Charlotte’s free trolley-style Gold Rush buses will not be in service on Sept. 3 for CarolinaFest and other opening festivities for the Democratic National Convention.
And routes for Gold Rush’s Orange and Red lines will be dramatically different from usual on Sept 4 and 5 due to road closings uptown during the convention. Hours also will vary, especially on Thursday morning.
“We’re pleased that we’re able to provide the level of Gold Rush service that we can during that time,” said Jean Leier, a spokesperson for Charlotte Area Transit System. “We had to look at where we could get around best, with the anticipated closures.”
Usually the two weekday Gold Rush lines crisscross uptown, with the red and gold buses from both lines meeting at The Square, at Trade and Tryon streets. From the Red Line, riders typically have access to light rail service on the LYNX Blue Line, as well as access to the Charlotte Transportation Center, the city’s major transfer point for bus riders.
Those connections will not be as easy during the convention, when the Red and Orange line routes will be redrawn because of closed roads uptown.
Also, CATS plans to temporarily move the transit center west for the convention, to Third and Mint streets.
Orange Line riders will have access to some of uptown’s most popular attractions, including museums at the uptown cultural campus, as well the N.C. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
Other Orange Line attractions include the Discovery Place science museum, the Main Library, the uptown YMCA, restaurants and the EpiCentre.
The Red Line will follow a tighter, abbreviated east-west loop mostly outside I-277’s ring, moving along Elizabeth Avenue, Charlottetowne Avenue, East Fourth Street and North McDowell Street.
It will provide service to the county jail and courthouse inside the uptown beltway, then on to Central Piedmont Community College’s Elizabeth Avenue campus. The restaurants and shops at the Metropolitan development will be a few blocks away.
Metropolitan also connects visitors to Little Sugar Creek Greenway’s parks and trails.
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