Charlotte, N.C. – Today, Charlotte Area Transit System announced a pilot program with Lyft, the fastest-growing on-demand transportation service in the US, and Passport, the developer of CATSPass app. The partnership provides greater connectivity to jobs and education by providing affordable and reliable transportation with Lyft on the first and last mile of a person's commute in areas where transit service may be too far away. The pilot program will be offered at two (2) LYNX stations and the area surrounding the stations.
For passengers needing a Lyft ride to or from the JW Clay/UNC Charlotte station or the Parkwood Station, CATS will provide a $4.00 contribution toward the Lyft fare.
A trip must originate or terminate at either of those two station locations and end or start in the specified area around each station. (See attached maps for geo-fenced areas for each station). These areas were selected to fill gaps in the existing transit network in order to provide better access to the region's extended rail system. Choosing the Parkwood Station as one of the two sites, allows for the opportunity to partner with the North End Smart District, and the residents, city leaders, and partners who are working together to create a great quality of life and achieve equitable outcomes through the use of technology, data, and collaboration.
"This pilot is a new, innovative and cost effective way to provide greater service and connectivity to our customers," said John Lewis, CATS Executive Director. "It provides a good alternative in certain areas where it is not cost-effective to operate a route with multiple buses running all day." Partnering with companies like Lyft and Passport allows CATS to expend funds for trips only when demand is needed versus running a route all day with multiple buses when demand ebbs and flows in areas where service is limited.
"We're proud to make it even easier to access LYNX stations and move around Charlotte," said Lauren Pelletier, Market Manager for Lyft in Charlotte. "Lyft was founded with the mission to reduce personal car ownership, and we know that by identifying multi-modal solutions to transportation challenges, we can have a better impact on the future of our cities. Pilots like this one show the potential for private-public partnerships that provide affordable, convenient, and reliable transportation."
"Based here in Charlotte, Passport is invested in the success of our city's mobility initiatives. We are excited to partner with both CATS and Lyft to create the technology that helps bring this multi-modal solution to life," said Passport VP of Business Development, Devin Patel. "This program supports our vision to create meaningful connections and equitable solutions for all constituents."
There are two ways a transit customer can participate:
- Purchase a Local Monthly pass from CATSPass mobile app and have a Lyft account. CATS will provide 40 trips per month to be used at either of the two LYNX stations and CATS will contribute the first $4.00 of each eligible Lyft trip.
- The second way is a customer must have a valid CATS pass and enter the unique station code displayed at the Parkwood or JW Clay/UNC Charlotte stations in their Lyft app to receive two trips per month with a $4.00 contribution towards each eligible Lyft trip from CATS.
To participate in either option the customer must have an active Lyft account to receive the subsidized trips along with commuting to and from one of the designated LYNX stations. For monthly pass holders, customers must purchase through CATSPass mobile app, developed by Passport. This pilot program is expected to run through late fall 2018 and provides a new and innovative approach to addressing the region's transportation needs and creating a more connected community.
This partnership is the first of its kind for a transit system in North Carolina. Several other transit systems across the country have initiated similar concepts over the past year. To learn more visit CATS website at www.ridetransit.org or call 704-336-7433 (RIDE).
Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people's lives with the world's best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. and is available to 95 percent of the US population as well as in Ontario, Canada. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities.
Passport transforms the way cities manage their operations. The fintech company's mobile-first platform has been adopted by more than 450 cities, universities and private operators around the world in cities including Chicago, Toronto, London and Miami, across more than 5,000 locations. Passport's product lines —– parking, transit and tolling payments, parking enforcement and permit management —– enable organizations in the public and private sectors to streamline their operations, enhance customer service and make data-driven decisions. Consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies and Best Places to Work in Charlotte, North Carolina, Passport has an ingrained practice of putting People First —– a guiding principle in its Culture.
Passport is backed by a group of investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital and Relevance Capital. Learn more, or get in touch with Passport at passportinc.com.