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Press Release
 IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                          
Contact:  Jean Leier (704) 432-0496

RIDERSHIP JUMPS ON NEW GREEN BUS ROUTE TO THE AIRPORT

Charlotte, N.C., September 13, 2010 ― Today marks the one year anniversary of the Sprinter, Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) new, environmentally friendly bus route to the airport.  “This new service uses a fleet of hybrid buses that produces fewer emissions and improves the quality of life for Charlotte’s residents,” said Carolyn Flowers, CATS CEO.  “The Sprinter enhanced bus service is part of the approved 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan and is the first enhanced bus service implemented by CATS.”   The Sprinter is a specially branded service that highlights the eco-friendly technology used on its route and promotes environmental benefits to the community.  CATS is looking at creating additional Sprinter routes across Charlotte in the future.

In just one year ridership on the new Sprinter service increased 20.9 percent over the previous service provided to the airport with over 360,500 riders.  The new route originates at the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) in Center City Charlotte and offers more efficient service to destination points such as the retail and health centers, neighborhoods and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, USAirways’ largest hub. “The Sprinter is a convenient and quick way for travelers to get to and from the airport,” Flowers said.  “The buses used on this route are designed for easy boarding and are equipped with luggage racks and seats to stow your luggage beside you.”  With consolidated convenient stops along the corridor, Sprinter provides 20-minute service weekdays and 30-minute service weeknights and weekends.   Community-oriented shelter designs and passenger amenities are located at key stops along the route.

CATS Director of Maintenance Reggie Arrington says the seven Sprinter hybrid buses also provide an operational benefit to the transit system that is saving it money.  “The older, diesel buses that were used on the prior airport route cost on average 87 percent more to operate annually per bus than the new Sprinter hybrid,” Arrington said.  “That equates out to approximately 82 percent less per mile to operator a hybrid bus on this route.”  The hybrid electric diesel buses also provide a cost savings in fuel to CATS.  Maintenance has seen a $5,000 savings in fuel per bus during the first year of service. 

To learn more about Sprinter and CATS services, call 704-336-RIDE (7433) or visit us on the web at www.ridetransit.org.