Charlotte NC transportation, getting around, buses, trains, trolleys | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
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Getting Around

Light rail, bus service, trolleys, taxis, car services and more

With an array of convenient and easy-to-access modes of transportation, navigating Charlotte is a breeze.

Thanks to the city planners who laid out its blocks in efficiently patterned grids, getting around Uptown Charlotte by foot is easy. But no matter where you are in the city or where you’re headed in the area, a plethora of mass transit options are available to connect you effortlessly.

By Bus

Sprinter Bus
This hybrid electric bus is an easy and affordable way to get from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Center City, with stops in central locations. It runs every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on nights and weekends. Cost: $2.20 each way.

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Bus Service
With more than 70 routes across the city and county, CATS buses serve more than 25 million passengers each year. Most operate from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:30 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Cost: $2.20 each way; $3 each way for express routes; children under 5 ride free; seniors and youth ages 5-12 ride for half fare with transit ID, Medicare card or valid school ID.

By Rail

LYNX Blue Line Light Rail
North Carolina’s first rapid rail system connects South Charlotte to Center City, running along 15 stations. A new LYNX Blue Line extension to University City and UNC-Charlotte is scheduled to open in August 2017. On weekdays, the line is available every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 15-20 minutes during non-peak hours. Weekend service operates every 15- 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during late-night hours. Cost: $2.20 each way.

These rubber-wheel trolley cars, reminiscent of historic streetcars, connect passengers to Center City and the LYNX Blue Line. It operates every 15 minutes Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Cost: Free.

CityLYNX Gold Line
This streetcar system connects neighborhoods to businesses and educational facilities, including Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Central Piedmont Community College and the Charlotte Transportation Center, along six stations. Amenities include covered and lighted seating, public art and travel information. Cost: Free.

By Private Car/Cab/Pedicab

Uber uses your phone’s GPS to detect your location and connects you with the nearest available driver. Get picked up anywhere, even if you don’t know your location’s exact address. Service is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week and 365 days per year. Cost: Enter your pickup and drop-off locations to get a fare estimate for your trip.

By downloading the Lyft app, you can request a ride from a nearby driver. Once confirmed, the app shows the driver’s name, passenger ratings and a photo of the driver and his or her car. In Charlotte, Lyft offers two types of rides within the app: Lyft—the original offering, which matches you with nearby drivers, and Lyft Plus, which matches you with a six-seater car. Cost: Enter your pickup and drop-off locations to get a fare estimate for your trip.

R & R Pedicab Company
The pedal-powered pedestrian taxi service offers service to any location within the Interstate 277 loop, plus the South End area, spanning as far as East Boulevard and West Boulevard. Cost: $5 per person for first 6 blocks, then $1 per person for each additional block.

Cruise Carts
The eco-friendly, ad-driven golf cart shuttle operates Wednesday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Private rentals are available on Monday and Tuesday. Cruise Carts offers pickup and drop-off services for locations including: Center City, Dilworth, Elizabeth, Myers Park, NoDa, Plaza Midwood and South End. Cost: Free.

By Bike

Charlotte B-cycle
With 24 stations throughout Uptown and surrounding neighborhoods and 200 blue bikes, this is one of the largest urban bike-sharing programs in the Southeast. Cost: 24-hour pass $8, plus $4 each additional 30 minutes after the first half hour (max/day $75); annual membership $65 (a $15 5-month membership is available for students), plus $4 each additional 30 minutes after first hour (max/day $75).


Getting Here

Whether you arrive by plane, train, bus or car, getting to Charlotte is a cinch. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is just 7 miles from Uptown Charlotte and serves more than 44 million passengers annually.

By Plane

Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), the nation’s fifth-busiest and the world’s sixth-busiest airport in terms of departures and arrivals, connects the Carolinas to the world. Offering nonstop service to more than 150 destinations worldwide via more than 740 daily flights, Charlotte Douglas carries more than 44 million passengers annually. It also serves as American Airlines’ second-largest hub. Sixty percent of the nation’s population is just a two-hour plane ride from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which is conveniently located just 7 miles from the Charlotte Convention Center.  

By Train
Three Amtrak routes serve Charlotte daily, offering connections to Raleigh, North Carolina; New York, New York; and New Orleans, Louisiana. 
By Bus
Daily service to and from Charlotte is available, with connections to Raleigh, Atlanta, Richmond and more. 
By Car
Interstates 77 and 85 link Charlotte to hubs across the Northeast, Southwest and Midwest—most of which are within a half a day’s drive. Interstate 40 offers a coast-to-coast link and is less than an hour north of Charlotte. 
*Updated February 2017