The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is constantly seeking grants and other revenue sources to leverage the investment Mecklenburg County citizens make to public transit through the dedicated sales tax. Over the past 12 months CATS has received several state and federal grant awards that allows us to continue to enhance, expand and improve your daily commute. These enhancements include energy efficiencies, modernized bus maintenance facility to keep the buses on the road and security measures to keep the system safe. We will continue to update this list as CATS receives future grants and revenue offered from United States Department Of Transportation (USDOT), the State of North Carolina and other sources.
(please click on the items below for a more detailed description)
North Davidson Bus Facility Renovation and Expansion Project $20.7 Million
With the help of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds through the Transit Capital Assistance Urbanized Program, CATS is renovating and expanding the 28-year-old North Davidson Bus Facility. The renovations will improve operations by updating facility conditions, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, providing sufficient space and support for operations and maintenance of up to 200 transit buses and replacing original bus maintenance equipment. The project also includes the construction of a new, multi-level staff parking garage. The renovations and expansion also allows CATS Special Transportation Services (STS) to relocate to the North Davidson Bus Facility when renovations are complete.
Additional Hybrid Buses $3 Million
CATS) will use these stimulus funds to purchase up to six new hybrid buses as part of the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) stimulus grant program. This program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). CATS currently has seven hybrid buses in its fleet. The hybrid buses have shown a 34 percent improvement in miles per gallon compared to a diesel bus, saving over 3,200 gallons of fuel annually for each bus.
Maintain and Restore System (MARS) Project $1.5 Million
The MARS Project will upgrade heavily used transit facilities and passenger amenities for CATS’ bus service. Some of the projects include replacing the exterior bus washing system, improving the exhaust system in the maintenance shop and upgrading the gear oil dispensing system.
Bus Canopy Solar PVS/Charging Project (TIGGER II) $1.0 Million
CATS South Tryon Bus Facility includes nine bus canopies in the middle of the lot that provide shade for the vehicles and allow the buses to cool quicker when going into service. These canopies will be the site of 2,268 solar PV panels which could generate up to 50.5 megawatt hours of power each month and approximately 12 percent of the annual electric use at this facility.
Parking Guidance and Way-Finding System $665,100
With these grant funds CATS will be installing electronic capacity counting systems at each LYNX Blue Line Park and Ride lot that will count cars to indicate to passengers whether the lots are full or if parking is available. The capacity counters will provide customers with parking information to assist them in finding a park space when they use the light rail system.
Clean Fuels Discretionary Program $421,580
More efficient and light weight Special Transportation Service (STS) vehicles were identified as part of CATS’ 2007-2012 Countywide Transit Services Plan. With this grant CATS will replace five older, less efficient vehicles in the fleet with five new accessible vehicles that emit 56 percent less carbon dioxide, get more miles per gallon, only require preventative maintenance every 10,000 miles and have an increased lifespan of two years and 50,000 miles.
Asset Management System $400,000
CATS was awarded a grant to procure an Asset Management System to assist in cost effective management of CATS assets. This system will work in concert with the City’s Work Asset Management System (WAM) to track all City/CATS assets, maintenance and capital planning activities. Identification of available resources and facility inventory are examples of items that can be tracked with this system.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant $300,000
As part of the City of Charlotte’s ARRA grant, CATS will receive money to replace over 300 175 watt metal halide lights at the I-485/South Boulevard Parking Garage with induction lighting that is more energy efficient by using lower wattage bulbs that can last up to 100,000 hours; the current lights only last 10,000 hours. Many of CATS surface parking lots will be upgraded to LED lighting that uses less energy and can last up to 50 times longer than traditional lighting. Both of these projects will reduce CATS usage of wattage and lower replacement costs.
Interactive Voice Response Notification and Registration System $258,076
The Interactive Voice Response Notification and Registration system will enable Special Transportation Services (STS) clients to address their ride needs without requiring the assistance of an agent by using their personal telephone. New and faster optimization will better fill scheduling gaps and should reduce no shows and associated expenses. As efficiencies improve more trips could be provided giving more services while stretching valuable STS resources. Through integration, client reservation, data exchanges, phone notification and better controlling of scarce resources, more service can be offered to those that depend on it most.
Fencing and Bollards $168,092
This project is for the protection of wayside infrastructure against sabotage or other terrorist type activities by installing fencing and bollards at various power sub-stations and signal houses along the LYNX Blue Line. The goal of this project is to provide the most protection possible while maintaining the functionality and serviceability of the equipment. This investment would provide for the security of these critical infrastructure components and enhance the overall system security.
Regional Terrorism Exercise Drill $119,668
This investment addresses the regional efforts of CATS to seek other public partners to develop capabilities for enhanced counter-terrorism response efforts by expanding its regional collaboration with emergency preparedness for security and first responders. During crisis emergencies response, agencies – police, fire and medic - must effectively coordinate effects and include close links to emergency room staffs. Public health infectious disease specialists may be called on to work together in a bio terror attack from a bus or a train.