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CATS | Sprinter

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Last night at our community meeting CAT's did a presentation seeking public input on the new express airport service. For those who haven't heard, the brief is this:

1. Line follows the path of the future green line which will be trolley service in 2025

2. The path is from the hub downtown to Morehead to Wilkinson to the airport

3. 15 minute wait times during peak times!

4. Permanent shelter stops will be erected in the future trolley locations

5. Shelters to be of higher amenity...ie signage, art, lighting

6. New buses (hybrid's) will be purchased

7. Line to be up and running Spring 2009

Everyone's excited about the enhanced line and sees the need. The marketing department for CAT's feels that the line needs to be branded. Currently the two names they are considering are "Sprinter" and "Dash". Several in the meeting didn't see the need to brand the system. They thought that it is just confusing to users (especially travelers). Some felt that they should just call it the green line since that will be the trolley lines designation and some thought it should just be named called what it is 'the airport express.'

I know that members here are from all disciplines and demographics. Many have lived in other major cities and have used their public transport. What do you think? Branding or no branding and does it really matter? What are other cities doing?

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Is there going to be extra fare for this route or will it be the same fare as the rest of the system?

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Is there going to be extra fare for this route or will it be the same fare as the rest of the system?

Not 100% sure but think it will be the same as any other fare. You can transfer just like all the other lines.

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I think giving it a name would be a good thing. It differentiates it from other routes and makes it easier to identify when speaking of specific routes. Having to remember numbers of routes can be difficult. We did the same thing with the LRT line by calling it the Blue line. Once the other routes are up and running, we have to be able to identify which one is which. Using green line could work both because of the hybrids and the fact that they already started using colors as designators. It could just be Green Line- Airport or Green Line West once they build the Central Avenue corridor.

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Call the bus route the Airport Express. Branding of transit services is way overdone and way overrated. The name should describe what the service does, not be some cryptic but supposedly "hip" title like "sprinter".

When the trolley line comes online, call it the green line for the sake of integration with the existing system.

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I don't know if I like this idea or not, but "DASH" could be "Downtown-Airport SHuttle".

I would rather they go ahead and electrify the corridor for busses now and the streetcar later. Perhaps that is just too expensive, but an electric bus would be better than a hybrid and they need the wires for the eventual plans anyway.

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I think it would be good to add a name and a colorindicator.

Anyway the worst thing you can do is run the bus system just by numbers, which are almost unrecognizable.

Every city I lived in so far had both a certain name and a color as an indicator.

Hong Kong has the AirportExpress with a turquoise looking color and Vienna has the CAT (City Airport Train), what a coincidence, with a green color attached to it. They were too expensive so I hope it's going to be better here.

Hope I didn't go too far off topic, if so please let me know.

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Call it the "Airport Express Line" and color it green on the maps. A "Line" sounds more direct and permenant that the usual bus "route" does. "Express" implies limited stop service and getting from a to B faster.

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Did they say how long they expected such a bus route to take? I've used the 5 before to get to the airport, and I didn't think it was that long to begin with.

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Did they say how long they expected such a bus route to take? I've used the 5 before to get to the airport, and I didn't think it was that long to begin with.

Sorry, failed to mention that the number of stops will be reduced from what the 5 currently has. The exact number and location are still being determined. Not sure of the time estimate from downtown to airport but will be quicker than currently.

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#5 currently has 5 stops, counting the endpoints of the Airport and CTC.

1. Charlotte Transportation Center

2. Wilkinson & Ashley

3. Wilkinson & Alleghany

4. Wilkinson & Little Rock

5. Airport Terminal

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Those are the timed stops....there are many more actual stops than that on the #5 ...of course the bus doesnt stop at them unless there is someone there or a passenger requests it.

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#5 currently has 5 stops, counting the endpoints of the Airport and CTC.

1. Charlotte Transportation Center

2. Wilkinson & Ashley

3. Wilkinson & Alleghany

4. Wilkinson & Little Rock

5. Airport Terminal

Those are the timepoints. It actually has 31 signed stops.

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I think they should call it the Green Line if it is truly different from regular bus service. If not, then I don't see the name for yet another brand.

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I also like Green Line because it sounds more like a transit line. And in my view, if the service is frequent, direct, convenient, and safe -- then that IS a transit line. I really hope that CATS actually promotes it as such.

If they do go with some other type of branded name, I think Sprinter and Dash are terrible. In addition, my understanding is that CATS views the new brand as the name for enhanced bus service generally. In other words, the next enhanced bus line would also be referred to as Dash or Sprinter. That would only further muddle the issue, I think.

Other than Green Line -- and if the goal is to be "hip" and "catchy" -- then I suggest WEB (West Enhanced Bus). It would be easy to say "I'm catching the WEB downtown" or "go to the corner and take the WEB to the airport"). And someone creative could probably design a nifty logo.

But my vote would definitely be to name it the Green Line and call it a day.

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But of course they'd have to keep with the cat theme. Bet'cha more than anything we'll be seeing the "Cheetah" roll out.

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But of course they'd have to keep with the cat theme. Bet'cha more than anything we'll be seeing the "Cheetah" roll out.

I think that the green line makes sense. The public embraced the blue line so while the irons hot strike with the green line. Even if it's not a train, it truly is a transit line. Once the public is educated about the speed and frequency of service, overall ridership and acceptance will increase. The hope is that with all the growth in this corridor ridership will increase enough to speed the build of the trolley line. In the meantime, the new buses and speedy service will allow CAT's to present the city in the best possible light to travelers and tourists.

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I think that the green line makes sense. The public embraced the blue line so while the irons hot strike with the green line. Even if it's not a train, it truly is a transit line. Once the public is educated about the speed and frequency of service, overall ridership and acceptance will increase. The hope is that with all the growth in this corridor ridership will increase enough to speed the build of the trolley line. In the meantime, the new buses and speedy service will allow CAT's to present the city in the best possible light to travelers and tourists.

I think it's perception will also be helped with the majority of the riders- people flying into the city and trying to get uptown without taking a taxi. Calling it a line, such as the Blue Line vs. just having a bus system will help its perception, since transit lines typically are better felt by a wide majority than a bus system. It's quick and convenient approach should also help with business people flying in...

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When I hear line, I think: "It goes from point A to point B."

When I hear route I think: "It meanders from point A to point B to point C to point D etc..."

And when your riding a new line or route, you want the sense of security in knowing that you might not end up in some strange corner of the city which you don't know.

It's a misnomer, but it's there.

Edited by The Escapists

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Definately do not use the word "bus" in the name. "Coach", "Express", "Shuttle" even "Rider" sound more upclass.

I *am* assuming that CATS would at least use the newer, upholstered-seat busses on this service. The current hybrid busses have metal seats and aren't really any different an experience than being on a regular diesel bus.

Edited by MZT

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Definately do not use the word "bus" in the name. "Coach", "Express", "Shuttle" even "Rider" sound more upclass.

I *am* assuming that CATS would at least use the newer, upholstered-seat busses on this service. The current hybrid busses have metal seats and aren't really any different an experience than being on a regular diesel bus.

I would also hope that the busses will have luggage racks of some kind.

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Wonder if this is a straight line from the airport to the CTC without any stops in between if they would charge a little bit more, say $2 ($0.50 more than the new rates) since they won't be picking up any other riders along the way to help pay for the extra route.

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The only thing between the airport and CTC where maybe a stop could be justified, is the Wal*Mart center. Some people from CTC might be interested in an express to there.

Edited by MZT

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