CATS to discuss options for 61 riders

At a public meeting at noon Thursday, the Charlotte Area Transit System will discuss options for commuters who use the 83X bus from Mooresville to uptown Charlotte.

On Oct. 18, Mooresville Mayor Chris Montgomery broke a 3-3 tie among the Mooresville town commissioners by voting against a proposed $25,208 contract with CATS. He said it didn't make sense for taxpayers to foot that amount for so few riders.

Before voting Mooresville commissioner Chris Carney said he had trouble funding 83X buses on which an average of only 44percent of seats are occupied, "even if I agree busing to Charlotte is the right thing to do."

The contract would have kept three buses running the route weekdays through June 30. Instead, the service will end Dec. 31, forcing the 61 round-trip passengers to find other ways to get uptown.

Towns that use CATS bus service pay half the cost of the route, and CATS pays the rest. Without a town's contribution, CATS ends service to that community.

Interviewed a day after the Mooresville vote, passengers on the 83X bus said ending the service will only put more cars on already-crammed Interstate 77 and pollute the air with more emissions.

At Thursday's meeting, CATS will discuss such alternatives as van pools and riding the 77X bus from Davidson, Cornelius and the Northcross park-and-ride lot off I-77 Exit 25 in Huntersville.

The meeting will be in Francis Auditorium at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Main Library, 310 N. Tryon St., Charlotte.

Those interested may drop in anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.