CATS ridership up in 2021

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has seen an increase in ridership since the start of the year, but it is not back to pre-pandemic levels.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ridership on Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is slowly rebounding from the pandemic.

According to data from CATS, ridership in April 2019 was 1,801,004. Ridership in April 2021 is at 721,541, which is up from 593,940 in April 2020.

“Ridership is beginning to pick up,” David Stradford, who is a regular rider, said. “It’s beginning to pick up over the last couple of weeks cause I ride the train seven days a week into town, and I have to ride it back home also.”

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Amid the pandemic, CATS started implementing safety measure and in-service vehicle cleanings on all buses and light rail vehicles.

It gave peace of mind to riders who utilized public transportation in the last year.

“For the last year, they have taken care of us down here,” said one rider. “Each bus is cleaned before you can get on it, so we have to wait a certain amount of time, and with the mask being required, I’m fine with it.”

Some riders say getting the COVID-19 vaccine has added to their feeling of safety.

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“I feel safe because I took the different COVID tests,” another rider said. “And then I got the Johnson & Johnson shot.”

Masks are still required on public transportation in North Carolina.

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