General Questions

There are three light rail stations that serve UNC Charlotte. The UNC Charlotte Main Station is located along Cameron Boulevard at Wallis Hall (near North Deck). The other stations include J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte at North Tryon Street and Ninth Street (beside UNC Charlotte Center City).

Students have a CATS all-access pass for unlimited rides on the CATS LYNX light rail, trolley, Special Transportation Service (STS), local and express bus routes, including the Airport Connector. Faculty and staff have the option to purchase the same pass. CATS privileges are on your 49er ID Card. Just show your card when asked by a fare inspector on the train. Be prepared to show your card each time you ride. On a bus, tap your card on the contactless card reader on the fare box. No pass is needed for uptown trolleys. If your 49er ID Card shows an error when you tap it on the reader, show the driver the CATS number on the back of your card.

Please note: Eventually, all train cars will be equipped with contactless card readers. When this happens, you will tap and go on the light rail, too. 

Students pay $25 per semester for a CATS all-access pass. To purchase the same privileges through CATS, it would cost $88 per month.

Faculty and staff members may opt to buy a CATS all-access pass for $75 per year. To purchase the same privileges through CATS, it would cost $88 per month.

CATS Special Transportation Service (STS) provides door-to-door transit services within Charlotte's city limits and the towns of Matthews and Pineville for individuals with disabilities certified as eligible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). STS vehicles connect with Niner Paratransit for campus service. STS service requires user registration and CATS approval before being eligible to ride. This process takes 30 days on average to complete.

For students, a $25 inclusion in the Transportation Miscellaneous Service Charge covers the CATS all-access pass.

Students ride the train, street car, Special Transportation Service (STS), local and express bus routes, including the Airport Connector, for no additional charge. 

Faculty and staff have the option to purchase the same pass for $75 per year, $50 per semester.

Members of the UNC Charlotte campus community are eligible to purchase a CATS all-access transit pass, which includes unlimited use of light rail.

No, light rail privileges are tied to your 49er ID Card. That means you don’t have to have a ticket to board. Show your 49er ID Card when asked by a fare inspector on the train. On a bus, tap your 49er ID Card on the contactless card reader on the fare box. Be prepared to show your 49er ID Card each time you ride. If your 49er ID Card shows an error when you tap it on the reader, show the driver the CATS number on the back of your card.

Please note: You must tap on when entering a bus and have your 49er ID Card ready to show a fare inspector on the light rail train to avoid incurring a $50 fine from CATS.

If you are issued a citation because you did not have your 49er Card, you may appeal the citation with CATS. CATS may decline or approve the appeal at their discretion. UNC Charlotte will not refund citation fines.

No, only UNC Charlotte students and employees are eligible for the CATS all-access passes. You may purchase tickets at light rail station kiosks or use the CATS Pass Mobile Ticketing App.

Campus and student safety is a top priority. CATS works closely with UNC Charlotte’s police department and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on the safety of light rail passengers. In addition to safety measures already in place by CATS – like advanced, state-of-the-art cameras and security officers on trains – the University has taken additional steps to accommodate light rail on campus. Security cameras, extra lighting and blue light phones are installed at the station on campus. Additional police officers have been hired and assigned to patrol the area, especially during peak travel times and at night.

The campus bus system, Niner Transit, operates Monday through Sunday. Niner Transit stops at the UNC Charlotte Main Station. For access to campus from the J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte Station, a campus bus picks up at the CRI parking deck. Visit NextRide to see live bus tracking.

Yes. CATS has worked to ensure all light rail stations and trains are accessible for people with disabilities. The University put in place accessible means to and from the campus station, including accessible pedestrian pathways.

On campus, Niner ParaTransit provides scheduled and on-demand disability transport for those with mobility impairments who are registered for the service. Designated pick-up and drop-off points are located around campus as close as possible to accessible building entrances.

If you prefer not to take a Niner Transit bus to get around, you can also walk or rent a bike or e-scooter from Gotcha Powered by Bolt, the campus bike and e-scooter rental program.

Currently, there is not a direct link between Amtrak and the LYNX Blue Line. Individuals would need to use a ride-sharing service to access the Parkwood Station via 16th Street or take the 11 - North Tryon bus to either the Charlotte Transportation Center in uptown or J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte Station to transfer to the Blue Line.

CATS has plans to open the Charlotte Gateway Station in uptown to replace the current Amtrak Station, which will provide easier access to the Charlotte’s rail lines.

There are 11 Park & Ride stations along the Blue Line, with four on the extension. While parking is free at most Park & Ride stations, CATS charges a $10 exit fee to exit the decks at the J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte and University City Boulevard stations, unless riders have a valid CATS daily, weekly or monthly pass. Riders without a CATS daily, weekly or monthly pass will be require to pay to exit the parking decks at J.W. Clay/UNC Charlotte and University City Boulevard stations.

Remember, if you are a UNC Charlotte student, faculty or staff member with a CATS All-Access Transit Pass, your pass does not include parking fees incurred at a CATS facility.

You can purchase a ticket for light rail from CATS at a ticket vending machine located on every station platform or via the CATS mobile ticketing app. To learn more about pricing, visit the CATS website.

Lost and Found items found and turned in are sent to the Charlotte Transportation Center on a daily basis and cataloged. To claim a lost item, visit the CATS Customer Service office located in pavilion A at the Charlotte Transportation Center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday or  call  704-336-RIDE (7433).

Items turned in that are not lawfully claimed within 30 days will become property of the City of Charlotte and may be disposed of by law.