Using Light Rail

light rail map

just show and go

Light rail privileges are tied to your 49er ID Card, so that means you don’t have to have a ticket to board. Just show your card if asked by a fare inspector on the train. Be prepared to show your card each time you ride. On a bus, just tap your card on the contactless card reader on the fare box. No pass is needed for the 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 also will be equipped with contactless card readers. When this happens, you will tap and go on the light rail, too. 

cats all-access transit pass

Students have a CATS all-access pass tied to their 49er ID Card for unlimited rides on the CATS LYNX light rail, trolley, Special Transportation Service (STS), local and express bus routes, including the Airport Connector. For students, a $25 inclusion in the Transportation Miscellaneous Service Charge covers the CATS all-access pass. To purchase the same privileges through CATS, it would cost $88 per month.

Faculty and staff have the option to purchase the same pass, but must opt-in to purchase for $75 per year or $50 per semester.

CATS all-access transit passes are now available for purchase through MyPark.

Note: 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 service requires user registration and CATS approval before being eligible to ride. This process takes 30 days on average to complete.


The LYNX Blue Line operates seven days a week. Check the train schedule for more information. Weekday service is from 4:50 a.m. to 2 a.m., but might vary depending on where you are picking up and getting off the train.