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Public Transit


CRTPO is the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for the Charlotte urbanized area. The CRTPO is the regional transportation coordination partner. CRTPO ensures the adoption and/or amendments to public transportation initiatives within a prioritized inter-modal program known as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The initiatives could include transit plans, new public transportation facilities, transit route or alignment changes, and/or introduction of changes to public transportation funding.

There are currently four public transportation and transit providers within the CRTPO planning area including the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), Iredell County Area Transportation System (ICATS), Mecklenburg Transportation System (MTS), and Union County Transportation (UCT). The CRTPO engages with partner agencies to conduct and integrate regional transit planning into the transportation planning processes.

The public transportation services in the region include bus, demand response, paratransit, rail and streetcar. Together, these services play a critical role in sustaining economic vitality, serving the needs of low-income and other disadvantaged populations, alleviating congestion, providing high-quality alternatives to driving, building communities, reducing environmental impacts and air quality while promoting regional land use and development goals.

Public Transit – Understanding How Planning and Funding Works

Public transportation, often referred to as public transit, includes buses, trains, and human services transportation that is available to the public. It provides access and mobility to residents from all walks of life.

Transit Information for the CRTPO Board and TCC Members, and Others Interested in a Deeper Dive into Transit Planning and Funding

FTA Section 5307 and 5340 transit funds along with other federal, state, and local transit funding programs are included in these on-going transit planning and funding activities. These federal transit programs are considered in the development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP).

In June 2020, the CRTPO Board leadership created and tasked the Transit Education Initiative Task Force (TEI) to explore the needs and opportunities for changes in the federal transit funding programs within the Charlotte region. The primary focus of the TEI was understanding the transit needs throughout the CRTPO planning area and updating the adopted sub-allocation formula.