Keep the Airport Connector 590 Cats Bus Route to Charlotte Douglas International
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I moved to Charlotte about three years ago as a working flight attendant based out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. I was living in North Charlotte when a friend suggested that I try the 590 airport connector CATS bus that has service from the Northlake Mall straight to the airport. I come from a rural area of Louisville, Ky and I had never used public transportation before, so I was quite nervous the first time. After I tried it though, I was hooked. It is an incredibly convenient, hassle free way to get to the airport. I have been riding the CATS 590 religiously ever since. The CATS 590 bus is proposed for termination in early June of this year. This termination will not only negatively impact me, but countless other airport employees and travelers who use this service. Many of the employees who make use of the bus do not have cars, and have moved specifically to the Northlake area because of the 590. If this bus is canceled then the people who use public transportation as their main form of transportation are going to have to take a CATS bus downtown then connect to the Sprinter which will add significant time to their overall commute. For the airport employees who do not use public transportation as their main form of transportation, most will end up driving which increases Charlotte's carbon footprint and will likely lead to significant overcrowding in the Charlotte Douglas International Employee parking lots. I do understand the economic reasons why CATS is choosing to terminate the 590. 1) It does not bring in enough revenue due to the fact that airport employees ride for free. 2) The midday busses are typically not very full. My solution is this: keep the 590 airport connector and charge airport employees a recurring monthly fee for using the service. This will consistently bring in revenue for CATS even if the midday bus crowds are low. Also, take some time to advertise the easy commute to the airport. Travelers and airport employees alike would jump at the chance to avoid the hassle of driving and parking at the airport. This would increase the overall revenue of the CATS 590 and would keep this wonderfully efficient way to get to the airport in the CATS system.
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