The Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) is the policy board for the Charlotte Area Transit System and has responsibility for reviewing and recommending all long-range public transportation plans. The Board reviews the transit system's operating and capital programs, and makes recommendations to the affected governments for their approval and funding of those programs. The MTC is a public body, and in addition to holding monthly public meetings, it conducts public involvement programs designed to gain community input on transit planning.
Members: The MTC is composed of voting members from the cities and towns located in Mecklenburg County and non-voting members from the surrounding counties to ensure regional involvement. The voting members include the Mayors of Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville, the Chairman of the Board of Mecklenburg County Commissioners and the regional representative from the North Carolina Board of Transportation. The MTC also includes five non-voting members representing local governments outside Mecklenburg County to ensure regional involvement including from the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The MTC is staffed by the City of Charlotte Public Transit Department.
History: Long-term development planning of the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) as a regional system is based on the July 1998 "2025 Integrated Transit/Land-Use Plan for Charlotte-Mecklenburg", created by the City and County, with significant participation by the six suburban Towns of Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius, Pineville, Matthews, and Mint Hill. In November 1998, the citizens of Mecklenburg County approved the levy of a one-half cent sales tax to be used to finance public transportation systems. A Transit Governance Interlocal Agreement was negotiated and then signed in February 1999 between the County, the City and the six Towns. The Interlocal Agreement defines the relationships and mechanisms which guide the planning, financing and implementation of the 2025 Transit/Land-Use Plan and updates to that plan.
The 2025 Plan and the Interlocal Agreement called for the involved local governments to share responsibility and accountability for regional transit services under five guiding principles:
- Coordinated transit operations on a countywide basis;
- Elected bodies to retain the responsibility of approving long-range transit planning and implementation;
- Public involvement;
- Representation of Town interests; and
- Flexibility and expandability to allow for integration of areas outside the County.