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Press Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE          
Contact: Judy Dellert-O’Keef, 704-432-0477

ERASE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT RIDE CATS TO CLEAR THE AIR

Charlotte, N.C., May 5, 2011 - The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) continues its efforts to help citizens make the Charlotte region a healthier place to breathe as it kicks off its annual Clear the Air campaign on May 6th at 11:30 a.m. outside of the Bank of America Corporate Center at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets.  Join Chair of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Jennifer Roberts, WBTV Meteorologist Eric Thomas and CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers for the start of this year’s campaign: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. 

The kick-off will be information-packed and fun-filled with a special appearance by Captain Clean Air.  Also, CATS will debut its new Clear the Air Bus.  This special bus design is a result of a partnership with WBTV, CBS Radio and CATS.  Beginning May 6 and continuing throughout the summer, the Clear the Air Bus will provide customers with a free ride when it appears on their bus route. 

 “Improved air quality is just one of the benefits of public transportation,” said Carolyn Flowers.  “CATS has taken the initiative to incorporate green efforts into our transit system.  We are committed to investing in technology and processes that help reduce air pollution and give citizens viable alternatives to riding alone in their cars.   With the Charlotte-metro area recently being ranked 10th worst air quality in the nation by the American Lung Association, we need to do everything we can in the fight against ground-level ozone.” 

CATS currently operates seven hybrid buses and recently received a Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Grant that enabled the organization to order six more.
 
The Clear the Air educational campaign will run through ozone season: May through September. Air pollution is at its peak during these months.   CATS will encourage residents to ride public transit, vanpool, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving alone.  Currently, public transportation in the U.S. saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions and 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.

Visit Clear the Air to gain more information and learn about upcoming events.  To learn more about CATS and its services, please call 704-336-7433 or visit us on the web at www.ridetransit.org.