Light-rail riders have a new way to pay for their tickets, as the Charlotte Area Transit System has unveiled its new mobile app, CATS Pass.
The app could make it easier for people to buy train tickets, but it’s also a hedge against broken ticket-vending machines on the Lynx Blue Line.
To launch CATS Pass, the transit system partnered with Passport, a Charlotte technology company headquartered on South Mint Street. The app is available on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Transit riders can either use credit cards or debit cards to pay for tickets on the app. They can also transfer cash to the app by visiting the information kiosk at the Charlotte Transit Center at 310 E. Trade St. Eventually, CATS plans to allow people to move cash on to the app at retail stores.
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CATS chief executive John Lewis said in a statement that the app will be helpful for people who don’t have “traditional banking relationships.” At some point, he said the transit system plans to let customers use the app to pay for Uber and Lyft rides to complete their trip.
CATS requires that the pass be activated before boarding a Lynx train. If a fare inspector asks to see your ticket, you should show them your smartphone. If you are transferring to a bus after taking the train, you should show the bus driver your smartphone when boarding.