What is public transportation like in Charlotte?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Blake Miller

Though Charlotte is a major city, like its Southern counterparts, public transportation is lacking—or at least it’s a far cry from what you’d find in northern cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York, all of which boast a network of public transportation that stretches far beyond the city limits. That being said, Charlotte has made some strides with its public transportation offerings in recent years, the most significant being the addition of the LYNX light rail line. Though the line only runs south from Uptown into South End and down to south Charlotte by I-485, it’s heavily utilized by commuters in south Charlotte who work in Uptown. For those in Uptown, the free Gold Rush Trolley runs along Trade and Tryon streets, the hub of center city, and stops on almost every block. For those looking to exercise, the city’s new public bike sharing system—with several stations throughout Uptown—is the best way to navigate the city.

Sarah Crosland

It’s no coincidence that Charlotte’s former mayor Anthony Foxx was recently appointed the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation. The city has shown serious growth in its public transit system in recent years. And while there’s plenty of room for improvement—and many plans in the works—it’s a city that’s becoming more and more easily navigable using public transportation.

The easiest mode of public transportation is the LYNX light rail line. This line, which runs south from center city into South End and ultimately into south Charlotte, has convenient stops throughout Uptown. In Uptown, you’ll also find the Gold Rush Trolley, a free trolley bus that goes east and west on Trade Street and north and south on Tryon, making frequently stops on almost every block. Uptown also now offers a public bike sharing system with an ever-increasing number of stations in the surrounding neighborhoods as well.

Finally, the most helpful part of public transportation for Uptown visitors may be the city’s Sprinter bus, which provides direct connection between Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the city center. It departs every 20 minutes during weekdays and every 30 minutes on nights and weekends.

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