The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS),which encompasses light rail, streetcar, local and express bus, paratransit services, and vanpool, unveiled the next phase of their Envision My Ride initiative — the new branding design of CATS buses and vanpools. Through Envision CATS is focused on redesigning the bus system to create more direct and frequent routes, lessen travel times and more.
It’s also updating its most flexible transit option in the mix with nine new 2017 Commuter Coaches from Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. The contract is valued at approximately $5.5 million.
The latest MCI additions to CATS fleet feature the newest clean-diesel engine technology for near-zero emissions and improved fuel economy. Passengers will also appreciate the improved curb appeal and updated interior the ’17 Commuter Coach offers, including forward facing seats with passenger seatbelts.
“At MCI, we are a popular part of multimodal transit where road and rail options are offered throughout expanding communities,” said Tom Wagner. “The Commuter Coach has been a durable presence at CATS for the last 16 years, and we are proud to continue to be part of CATS’ new era.”
CATS buses served more than 17 million passengers last fiscal year on more than 70 routes, including commuter rapid transit across the greater metropolitan area and county. All together, CATS operates a fleet of more than 300 buses.
The new nine Commuter Coaches, which feature American seating and bike racks, will eventually be fitted with Wi-Fi to allow commuters to work on longer trips.