For the first time ever, the Iredell County Area Transportation System will offer a route connecting Iredell County to Charlotte beginning July 5, with fare-free trips for the first month.
The ICATS Express route will link the 7/11 on Turnersburg Highway in Statesville to the Northcross park-and-ride lot off Exit 25 in Huntersville, which offers transit service to Charlotte.
The bus, which holds around 25 passengers, will also stop at Gateway Center Drive in Statesville, the park-and-ride lot on Julia Place in Troutman and the Fat Boys on Straightaway Drive in Mooresville.
“This is a unique opportunity for residents and commuters to connect to and explore the Queen City and for visitors from outside Iredell County to visit here and see all that we have to offer,” said Jeff Crouchley, operations manager for ICATS.
Once at the Northcross lot in Huntersville, riders will be able to seamlessly transfer to a Charlotte Area Transit System bus for direct service to uptown Charlotte. The lot also connects to Concord and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Buses will run during peak commuter times each weekday and will use in the future the tolled express lanes to avoid congestion and reduce travel time. Three round trips will be offered in the morning and again in the afternoon.
ICATS is still finalizing fare prices but aims to offer one-way trips for $3 and monthly passes for $121.
With the average car getting 25.5 miles per gallon of gas and with gas prices around $2 per gallon, a one-way trip to Charlotte would cost about $3.50 for a driver not using toll lanes.
“We hope to allow commuters in both directions to relax and leave the driving to us,” Crouchley said.
The new bus was acquired in 2016 and offers spacious seating, a wheelchair lift and free Wi-Fi for riders. ICATS hopes to add weekend express trips and trips to major Charlotte-area events in the future.
The Express route is being funded with $50,000 from ICATS; $15,000 contributions from Statesville, Mooresville and Iredell County; and $10,000 from Troutman. These contributions match the amount of federal and state money received for the new service.
ICATS is a self-supporting enterprise fund operating under Iredell County. The system consists of 48 employees and 29 vehicles, which travel over 800,000 miles each year.
For more information on the new route or the ICATS system, call Jeff Crouchley at 704-873-9393 or visit rideicats.com
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