Transit ridership is falling in Charlotte. Could Lyft and Uber give it a boost?

By Ely Portillo

Since the Charlotte Area Transit System and ride-hailing platform Lyft launched a pilot program in April offering discounted rides to and from light-rail stations, fewer than 100 riders have taken advantage of the deal.

But that’s OK, CATS officials say. The pilot program runs through December, and officials are studying how and whether to expand it after that as they gain insight into how riders might use services like Uber and Lyft to get to transit.

Shannon Binns, the executive director of Sustain Charlotte, which promotes bicycling and walking, said he would rather see CATS and the city focus on making stations more accessible for bikers and pedestrians, rather than subsidize Lyft trips in cars.

“We’ve really been concerned about that program,” he said. “I think it was well-intentioned ... that first mile, last mile should be bike or walk.”

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