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Public Transit

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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.

CRTPO receives Federal Transit Administration (FTA) formula funds annually. These funds are used to support multimodal transportation planning projects to its member jurisdictions and transit agencies within the planning area. Planning needs to be cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive, resulting in long-range plans and short-range programs reflecting transportation investment priorities.

The NCDOT allocated FY2025 FTA Section 5303 grant federal funds amount for planning projects is projected to be approximately +/- $1,000,000. This amount is subject to change, and the final amount will be released by NCDOT in January 2024. The FTA Section 5303 FY2025 call for projects closed on Thursday, November 9, 2023. The call is for qualifying projects for supporting the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users, increase of the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight, environmental stewardship, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements locally and regionally, and the enhance and preservation of intermodal connectivity.

If you have any questions about the FTA Section 5303 projects, please contact Jerrel Leonard at

Charlotte Area Transportation Service Providers

Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation (CPT-HST) Plan

The current Charlotte Urban Area Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation (CPT-HST) Plan (2022) replaces the previous plan adopted by CATS in 2016. It sets regional priorities for transportation investments and initiatives for human services and public transportation coordination. This plan will help guide funding and service development for transportation projects supporting older adults and people with disabilities in the region over the next five years. The CPT-HSTP was adopted by CATS’ Metropolitan Transit Commission in May and the CRTPO Board in June 2022.

View the CPT-HST Plan.

CPT-HST Appendix A: Technical Memo

CPT-HST Appendix B: Public Engagement

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.

Visit the TEI page for more information.