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ETC Frequently Asked Questions
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1. What is the ETC program?
The Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) program is a resource for local employers, which assists organizations in offering transit information and benefits to their employees. There are several activities that organizations can participate in as an ETC member. 

2. Does CATS offer discounts on passes to employers?
The CATS ETC program offers employers the ability to sell transit passes at discounted prices to their employees.  The discounts are based on the dollar volume of passes sold every month. 

3. How do I begin selling passes in my office?
In order to sell transit passes, your organization must have the appropriate party fill out a credit application.  The completed application must be mailed to the City of Charlotte Revenue Department for processing.  Once the application has been approved, your organization will receive notification that an account has been created, and your organization can begin to order passes from the CATS Pass Sales & Information office.  Please contact the CATS ETC Coordinator to request a credit application, and more information about this process.

4. What types of transit passes can I sell?
Employers can sell any of the following passes to their employees:

  • Weekly pass – This pass provides unlimited local service for the week, and expires on the date indicated on the front of the pass.
  • Monthly pass - This pass provides unlimited service for the month, and expires on the date indicated on the front of the pass.
  • STS Monthly pass – This pass provides unlimited Special Transportation Services for qualifying individuals, within specific areas of Mecklenburg County for the month, and expires on the date indicated on the front of the pass.
  • 10-Ride pass – This pass provides 10 rides for bus service only.  This pass does not have a weekly or monthly expiration date, and is not accepted on the light rail. 

5. How do I order transit passes for my organization?
Once your organization has filled out a credit application and created an account with the City of Charlotte, you can fax or e-mail your transit pass orders to the CATS Pass Sales & Information Office.  Please contact the CATS ETC Coordinator to request this information.

6. What is the difference between Local, Express, and Express Plus service?
CATS operates more than 70 bus routes, including local, express and express plus services to get you where you need to go. Local service operates within the Charlotte City limits. Local buses make frequent stops during the day, and often run seven days a week.  Express service provides quick transportation – with minimal stops – from the towns and communities outside of the Charlotte City limits, but within Mecklenburg County. Express buses only operate Monday through Friday during morning and evening rush hour.  With the exception of the #77X North Meck Express, there is no Express weekend service.  Express Plus service includes service to neighboring counties.  Express Plus buses also only operate Monday through Friday during morning and evening rush hour.

7. What is transportation fair?
A transportation fair is an on-site event which allows employees to ask CATS Representatives questions about using CATS transit services to commute. At transportation fairs CATS Marketing Representatives bring transit schedules and brochures, which are usually displayed on a table located near a high traffic area at a worksite.  Transportation fairs are often held during the lunch hours for employees. 

8. How do I schedule transportation fair?
Please contact the CATS ETC Coordinator to schedule a transportation fair for your organization.

9. How does the Commuter Tax Benefit work?
The Commuter Tax Benefit is a federal program which allows employees to pay for transit services through pre-tax payroll deduction. 

10. How does the vanpool program work?
The Vanpool program offers a convenient and affordable way to get to work. A vanpool or minivan consist of a group of people who live and work near each other and share similar commuting schedules. For more information, please click here.

11. What can my organization do to encourage carpooling?
A few successful ways to encourage carpooling include offering preferred parking spaces, and assisting employees with finding a carpool partner.  For more information about carpool matching assistance, please click here.

12. How can my organization get a bus stop closer to our office location?
In order to request a bus stop, please either call our Customer Service Department at 704-336-7433, or follow the steps listed below:

Please send an email to telltransit@charlottenc.gov and include the following information:

  • Address of the office location
  • Information about where you would like to have the bus stop
  • Occupancy information for your organization
  • Your contact information
Your request will reach the CATS Operations Bus Stop Committee and a representative from that group will contact you to discuss your request in further detail.