Charlotte Area Transit System will open its first park and ride in Cornelius on Wednesday.
The $5 million facility includes 354 parking spaces and a rider shelter with art glass reflecting the blues and greens of Lake Norman and the oranges of the clay beneath the surface.
“This is the coolest park and ride in all of CATS,” Mayor Chuck Travis said at a grand opening ceremony on Friday.
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Charlotte artist Ivan Toth Depeña, chosen by a panel of art professionals, collaborated with project architects on the design. They employed a modern building shape that integrates an awning with the colorful art glass providing shelter for bus riders. As the sun passes over the awning, colored shadows are cast on the ground below at various angles throughout the day, and LED lights illuminate the glass from above at night.
The park and ride will be open to riders of the Route 48X Huntersville Express and 97 Village Rider-Cornelius buses. The facility has eight handicap-accessible and two motorcycle spots, benches, two emergency blue light phones, bike racks and pedestrian access to main thoroughfares. The park and ride is at Sefton Park Road and One Norman Place, off West Catawba Avenue and Interstate 77 Exit 28.
CATS broke ground on the facility in fall 2016. Funded in part by a congestion mitigation and air quality improvement grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the facility gives another transit option for I-77 commuters, CATS Chief Executive Officer John Lewis said.