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Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


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Just some before and after photos of the view of uptown and the blue line from 11th street. Definitely a big difference!

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Day Two: I saw the inspector give a man a citation today. He bought a one-way ticket and thought it was good in both directions. It took the inspector several minutes to complete the citation, so the guy actually missed his stop at Tyvola and had to take a northbound train back. I asked the inspector how many citations he had given out today and he answered "more than 1, less than 100".

I thought a ticket was valid for 90 minutes from purchase - no matter the direction. Was the individual over the 90 minutes? Can anyone confirm this?

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^ I hadn't realized this, and I don't like it. I've never been on a public transit system where you had to buy a second ticket if you accidentally missed your stop and had to go back.

Agreed. When I lived in Chicago (which is obviously setup differently than ours...with turnstyles) it wasn't a second thought if you missed your stop and needed to go back in the other direction. I do think that CATS should excuse anyone if they have a ticket within the 90 minutes of the initial purchase, regardless of the direction they're going in. Perhaps even make that policy 45 minutes to prevent anyone from just getting off, picking up some lunch, and hopping back on. I'm not sure if that's the best policy, but punishing someone for missing their stop doesn't seem right to me.

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With an open system like this one, there's probably no other way to enforce it. I think regular riders will get a handle on it, but I worry about tourists and people that will only use it only a few times. I'm not trying to absolve people of their responsibility of knowing the rules, but I'd hate for a tourist's impression of Charlotte to be based on a $50 ticket.

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I rode uptown for a quick trip and rode back on the same ticket about a week or two ago. Ironically enough there was a ticket enforcer on that train and he did check my ticket. He didn't say anything about it and it clearly said "Scaleybark" when we were at the CTC Station. I was under the impression it was 90 minutes, myself, so this could be a potential problem that may need to be worked out.

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Personally I think they should make the entire system fare free. Then you don't have to fool with the ticket machines, or fare inspectors...or armored cars to transport all the money to the bank etc. etc.

I don't think it is realistic for them to go fare free...it would cut $15M out of CATS budget and I don't see how they could make that money up.

Maybe what they could do is simplify their fare system like Houston did and make all rides $1. Reducing the fare to $1 would mean a $3M decrease in fares collected...however if they got just 10,000 more people a day to ride the system that would more than make up for the fare decrease.

Something else I think they should look at is making the system fare free during July and August when ozone air pollution becomes a problem around here. If the transit system is free it is a no brainer that more people will ride it.

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Just noticed a $500K building permit was issued to repair/replace the fabric roof at the Lynx Arena Station. Anyone know anything about this? I havn't seen any contract changes come across for this so I assume it is a warranty repair. Maybe the original roof was defective?

About time somethings done with it. 1) I noticed a few weeks ago that the blue lights weren't lighting up; 2) it looks as if there is some kind of adhesive around the actual clear form. It's such a wonderful concept roof, and the material is what is being used in Bejing for the Olympics, so I'd hope they can get it up to standards. Not sure w hat the permit is for, tho.

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Noticed today that the ticket machines said credit cards to be accepted 1st Quarter 2008 so hopefully it will be very soon.

I had my ticket checked both ways today. Once by CMPD and once by a CATS worker. I wonder if they ran out of uniforms? When I first rode the LRT, the farechecker I saw had a crisp uniform but the two CATS workers I saw today were wearing business casual with a neon green traffic vest.

Edited by Raintree21
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From the latest Council-Manager memo:

- Two software releases designed to reduce system errors and add functionality (e.g. round trip fare) are scheduled for release within the next two weeks.

- City Council will be asked at its meeting on February 11 to authorize the City Manager to exercise the contract option that allows for the purchase of up to an additional 10 TVMs.

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While I understand that part of the problems are the lines and the fact that stations don't have enough machines, I'd hate us to actually buy more of what has been a pretty bad product.

I'm glad everyone is still giving CATS a hard time so they fix the issues, but I am confident that many of the problems will go away this year.

More products, faster speeds, accepting cards and improving information and enforcement will all go a long way.

I also agree with some fare free times or zones and doing it during ozone days or months would be a great idea. Or at least reducing the price to a buck round trip or something.

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You all are just providing more and more reasons to get the monthly pass...

The trains are already getting so crowded at rush hour, that people will let a train pass by in the hope of catching the next one being less full.

Today I was at 3rd street, wanting to go south and back home. I deliberately took the northbound train up one stop to CTC, just so that I could catch the southbound train there, and get a seat. :)

Edited by MZT
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Sound like the may need more cars soon. They may made a mistake by making the stations for a up to a double train. They may need to run 3 trains at a time. Glade to hear there are full trains to prove to the people who said no one would ride the train.

Edited by RiverwoodCLT
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They still have the option to run every five minutes and/or buy more cars so they can run ALL double trains at rush hour. There's still a ways to go before needing three car trains, but yes, they should at least excercise their option to buy those additional cars.

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Sound like the may need more cars soon. They may made a mistake by making the stations for a up to a double train. They may need to run 3 trains at a time. Glade to hear there are full trains to prove to the people who said no one would ride the train.

This is a typical story during rush hour. I have found myself into this situation, especially after games at the arena. It's a good thing, though, that's for sure, but yes- they do need to time trains better to work with events and rush hours. Also they should really consider running more double trains during these times, as I've seen them a bit slack on this recently. I don't think 3 car trains is the solution, it's much more a timing situtation as well as being consistant and working with the peak times, even though they change on a day to day basis. CATs needs to keep up with what events are going on in uptown, and when.

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