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March 23, 2020

CATS Service Modifications in Response to COVID-19 Impacts


Starting on Wednesday, March 25, CATS will make modifications to transit service to accommodate the current need for demand. By operating modified service, CATS is able to continue providing the community access to essential daily needs, front-line jobs and medical services.


  • CATS will operate a temporary modified schedule seven days-a-week
  • All transit service will be fare free to enable social distancing and help protect bus operators.
  • No passes will be available for purchase, and all ticket vending machines and fare boxes will be taken out of service.
  • The adjustments to schedules and fares will occur until further notice.


Service modifications are as follows:


  • CATS Local fixed-route and community circulator buses will operate on a Saturday schedule, Monday thru Saturday. Buses will operate normal Sunday service on Sundays.
  • CATS Express routes will operate two trips in the morning and afternoon, Monday through Friday.
  • CATS asks that riders exit buses through available rear doors.

Light Rail

  • The LYNX Blue Line will operate on a Sunday schedule.


  • CATS’ Special Transportation Services (STS) operations will be limited to life-sustaining trips only. Life sustaining trips include those to medical facilities and grocery stores.


Modified schedule information can be found at RideTransit.org.


Sanitization Efforts

On March 3, CATS implemented Contamination Protocol, more than one week before Mecklenburg County’s first identified case of COVID-19.


In additional to daily regular cleanings, Contamination Protocol consists of:

  • All hard surfaces on vehicles are wiped down with a hospital-grade solution.
  • All 42 light rail vehicles are being treated with disinfectant antibacterial foggers.


CATS Operators/Drivers

We are continuing to make gloves, anti-bacterial hand-gel, and anti-bacterial soap available to all bus drivers and train operators.


Communication to Riders

CATS is highly encouraging all riders to obey all recommendations from public health officials with an emphasis on social distancing.


CATS will communicate the service modifications to riders by:

  • Sending an email Rider’s Alert to all subscribers
  • Notifying the media via Press Release
  • Posting to City and CATS social media accounts
  • Posting signage at station platforms, on vehicles, and at pass sales locations.
  • Posting information on ridetransit.org, CATS Pass Mobile app and ticket vending machines